The ACROSS Media Department works with partners such as Dan church Aid (DCA), Pioneer Australia, World Vision and Christian Aid (CA) to develop, translate, record and disseminate messages of peace and reconciliation to some of the most remote regions of South Sudan.
The church in South Sudan has historically played an influential role in resolving conflicts, reconciling parties, and building trust and confidence between communities. ACROSS media has joined the South Sudan Council of Churches to use Digital Audio Players (DAPs) to communicate messages regarding gender-based violence, and peace and reconciliation.. To help move the peace building activities forward, ACROSS, with support from Christian Aid, implemented a pilot project called “Action Plan for Peace and Gender Based Violence” Using digital audio players as a messenger of peace. This project is currently underway with messages being recorded for distribution.
Additionally, ACROSS has developed a chaplaincy training program for the South Sudan Armed Forces covering topics such as: personal spiritual growth, duty of a soldier to defend the nation and not exceed it, coping with the trauma of war experiences and personal failures, coping with loss of loved ones by atrocities of the other tribe in the war and not driving them to use their weapons beyond their duty, staying sexually faithful with partners, being sober, and of good character avoidance of stealing by force of arms (especially when pay is delayed), meeting life's difficulties generally (both those faced by all men and those because of their unique lifestyle) and building positive relationships within the army community as well as outside with civilian populations.
The Media department also produces programs for airing over radio and has developed teacher training material for reaching teachers in remote areas.
The ACROSS nutrition project started in 2016 in Lasu and Gorom refugee settlements in Yei and Rejaf Counties of former Central Equatoria State The original project was supported by UNICEF, which was treating only severe acute malnutrition in children.
In 2017 ACROSS signed a Field Level Agreement with World Food Program (WFP) which scaled up the scope of the nutrition intervention to treat both the severely and moderately malnourished children, malnourished pregnant and lactating women and malnourished people living with chronic illness.
In partnership with WFP, UNICEF, UNHCR , and the State Ministry of Health, ACROSS provides nutritional intervention to malnourished children under five years of age, supplementary feeding to pregnant and lactating women and institutional feeding to people living with chronic illnesses of HIV/AIDS and TB in Lainya, Yei and Morobo. In 2018, more than 32,000 people were screened through the ACROSS Nutrition Project. Of those, more than 1200 children under the age of 5 were treated for acute malnutrition, including 115 needing care at the Stabilization Centre. More than 800 pregnant and lactating women received support as well as almost 3000 members of households with a person suffering from chronic illness.
The project also provided individual and group counselling on infant and child nutrition to more than 14,000 individuals in 2018. This counseling serves to prevent malnutrition by informing mothers of their children's nutritional needs. One common practice is for mothers, like the one pictured above, to feed their babies black tea. Through counselling and educational programs, mothers learn how to feed and care for their children.
The nutrition project's emphasis is on Community Based Management of Acute malnutrition (CMAM) and Maternal Infant Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) while integrating WASH components like the distribution of soap and dissemination of basic WASH messages to the project beneficiaries in collaboration with WASH partners.
The need for refugee care in South Sudan is a tragic outcome of the years of instability in the country. ACROSS seeks to provide care in a manner which honours each person with human dignity—even when they are at their most vulnerable.
ACROSS joins hands with UNHCR to provide refugee care through the Integrated Response programme. The aim is to address assistance and protection needs of more than 2000 refugees in Gorom Refugee settlement, Central Equatoria State and urban refugees in Juba. We strive to increase access to basic rights, promote self-reliance and enhance dignified living among Persons of Concern (PoC).
Areas of service include:
water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH)
emergency medical trasport and ambulance service
ACROSS also operates the medical referral desk supports referrals for refugees coming from different refugee camps in the country and provides logistic support, facilitates accommodation in the medical safe house and follow up of their treatment and feeding. There are also protection cases to be supported at protection wing of the medical safe house.
This project also targets the urban refugees in provision of education for 400 urban refugee children dwelling in Juba for primary education and 150 students for secondary school.
Left: teacher training; Centre: A peace mission in a cattle camp; Right: Vegetable production supported by ACROSS
Health & Education
ACROSS’ Health and Education programmes in Rumbek East work closely with the Ministries of Education and Health. In 2016 ACROSS trained 8 health managers in order to strengthen the supervision of health facilities.
ACROSS trains teachers and supervisors in the education sector. Head teachers from Rumbek East reported in 2016 that they were now receiving regular supervisory visits from Payam and County school inspectors, and attributed this to ACROSS’ programme. ACROSS also helps children to stay in education, particularly girls, incentivising boys to support girls’ learning and education. Thanks in part to ACROSS, 574 girls and 230 boys continued in education in 2016, while 105 girls and 63 boys completed their education.
The Health & Education programmes contain a significant peacebuilding element, which also involves the local church. ECS bishops of Akot and Rumbek dioceses, Bishops Isaac and Alapayo, alongside clan leaders, government officials and NGOs, have worked hard to mediate between youth of rival clans. ACROSS has played its part in bringing people together and through the use of Digital Audio Players, particularly in cattle camps. Revenge killing and clan fighting were significantly reduced in 2016. Rival clans were able to stay together in one cattle camp and visit each other’s villages without restriction or fear.
Farming God’s Way
Supported by Tear Fund Switzerland, ACROSS ran refresher training to improve food security in Rumbek East, attended by 20 participants, following basic training in 2015.
Funded by the International Development Association and by Denmark, the Local Government and Service Delivery Project provides block grants for payam development, involves communities throughout the process, strengthens institutions, and provides project management support. ACROSS facilitates community engagement for the project, helping bomas and payams to identify their needs, develop priority lists and select projects. Thanks to ACROSS, women made up 46% of participants in community meetings, influencing the kind of interventions prioritised. Women, who fetch water from distant places, have particularly identified water as a pressing need. ACROSS has helped to set up Payam Development Committees and Project Supervisory Teams to supervise interventions once selected, following up with County Authorities and contractors when work is not proceeding as it should. Water User Committees have over 50% female representation.