The words (as translated) of a participant in the “Promoting Peaceful Co-existence and Access to Education among Communities in Jebel Boma County” initiative.
Before the introduction of a new method of conflict management, our communities had conflicting issues with their neighbours, resulting in too many deaths and injuries. When I was young, I witnessed a group of armed men attack my village and burn every single house to ashes. It was hard to believe. Such humiliating events which claimed lives of people. Our properties were looted and all the crops cut down. Imagine how difficult life was to people who are only depending on farm products. It was an experience that, as a young man, I did not forget. I had promised to pursue them and do the same as they did to us. As a result of that attacked, livelihood continued to deteriorate with many having nothing to eat after losing their properties and all the products from the farm.
Hatred and enmity continued in Jebel Boma County for a long period of time. Road ambushes and revenge killing was rampant. With a few changes in peoples’ heart, they came to realize the continuation of crises will not benefit them; instead it has inflicted more damages than good to them.
Today, with ambition of peace in my heart, it is privilege to engage my fellow community members to participate in peace building and to forget about the revenge killings and road ambushes and embrace in doing good and become real ambassadors of peace in the community. We should report conflict related issues to Chiefs, Police and Local government to eliminate the state of being hostile and rebuild trust among people.
My gratitude and appreciation goes to ACROSS and their partners for their support on peace initiatives that has brought some changes in the lives and the hearts of communities living in Jebel Boma County. My special request to them is to continue supporting us and the local Government in peace building, reconciliation and healing interventions for the communities living in Jebel Boma County. This will enable peaceful coexistence and harmony that will create a healthy environment for free movement of human beings and free project activities implementation that will enhance safe livelihood development.
My dream is to see a real change in Jebel Boma County during my remaining lifetime and holistic transformation toward peace and harmony so that kids study and men and women engage themselves in doing something meaningful for their livelihood. Unity and forgiveness shall be our daily county anthem for better development of our county and our country.
Jeka Chol Leyam is a 25 years old male refugee from Maban (Yusuf Bantil Camp).
“I developed this condition when I was around 12 years old. It was painless. I visited many hospitals but was told that the condition was neither treatable nor manageable. I lived with it up now.”
His conditions did not limit him from socializing with a few friends. He got married in 2014. They do not have a child yet.
Jeka was excited when arrived on the Across compound following his operation.
“Oh, my God! I met many people in Ethiopia with a similar condition as mine. I used to know I am the only one with this condition in the world. I was treated very well during my journey and I thank Face Africa UNHCR and Across for all the support you gave me. I am requesting Across to send me home to meet my wife whom I have missed since for a long we have not been able communicate,” He added.
Across first heard about Jeka through email communication from face African and UNHCR. On 27th March, 2015 Across received Jeka from Juba international airport (JIA). He spent some days in JMSH before travelling to Ethiopia for his operation. Across facilitated his feeding and accommodation while in Juba including processing his travel documents and flagging him off from Juba to Ethiopia at JIA.
After his successful operation in Ethiopia he was again received by Across staff at JIA. Currently he is in JMSH awaiting his booking back to Maban hopefully early next week. His next review in Ethiopia will be in September, 2015.
Across congratulates UNHCR, Facing Africa and all field partners especially in Maban for their efforts for transforming and restoring hope in Jeka’s life and the entire refugee community in South Sudan.
On the 14th of August 2015, we conducted a workshop in Wun-Chuei cattle camp and the focus was on:Monitoring on the early distributed DAPs, Distribution of new DAPs,Impact stories and update of new chips.
Deng Nhial, a resident of Adol community, originally from Goi cattle camp, narrated the crises of Chieftaincy campaign which brought a very big division between the chief and community members of Adol. As a result many people moved to Mundari land with their cattle. The people of Mundari land had been transformed by the peace messages. But some of the new inhabitants to Tombek (Terekeka County) wanted to retaliate the death of one of their own. The news spread quickly.
"One cattle camp Chief of Mundari heard the News. One day he came with his youth to our cattle camp and called all the youth of our camp and asked, “Do you have a DAP in your cattle camp?” "Yes," some answered. He again asked, “And what lesson have you heard being spoken on it?” "Peaceful co-existence," they replied. The chief continued to say that having heard much on peace it was now time to implement what they learnt. They would not entertain fightings as this would inject wrong impact over his people. If the Dinka people wanted to fight they would have to move to their home across the Nile. But if they wanted to live in Mundari land they would have to stop fighting. Feeling ashamed the fighters resolved to live in peace."
In August 20-27 Radio visited various cattle camps in Terekeka, Central Equatoria. A number of success stories following impact of radio messages recorded in Digital Audio Players (DAP) were shared:
A. Peter Tongun Sub Chief of Joor Boma Lokweni cattle camp and area (centre) reports what he and his camp learnt:
Value life (Don't kill)
Hard work to avoid raiding
Live peacefully with people (use good words and good approaches)
Beneficiaries: 20 youth, 10 women, 70 children
Peter believes that youth will be transformed as they keep listening to radio messages. Across should keep coming and monitoring the messages and adding more messages.
B. Although he did not receive a DAP in the year Chief Magbang of Joor Boma Terekeka County listened to the messages from those who had. He said, "I have told those who are holding on to the DAPs to go to the churches and share the messages with those who have not had access to them. The messages remind me of a good leader."
C. In Ngamangu cattle camp Garbina and Lakenyi, the camp chief,
reported that the messages are good news to help people come out of the box of ignorance to the box of enlightenment. "We are now living as brothers and sisters. We want to share the same with others. Ours is like a school of peace building." Through the message on peace Lukenyi helped solve the fights in the cattle camp.
There are girls in Ngamangu camp some of whom would engage in sexual acts in the bush and would deceive their parents. They listened to the messages on HIV/AIDS, and on consequences of conflict arising when involvement in unofficial sex is discovered. They now want to involve their parents by introducing their suitors to them.
D. Ujungani Cattle Camp
Rt Camp Leader. There is a lot of improvement in the cattle camps as youth have listened to the radio messages. Many are turning away from raids and conflicts to handling matters peaceably.