Location: Juba, South Sudan
By Nonviolent Peaceforce Office in South Sudan
The establishment of Community Protection Teams (CPTs) in a Juba's Protection of Civilians sites stems from a "community engagement strategy." Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) began implementing this strategy last year in the Juba Protection of Civilians site. Our contacts with both women and youth leadership were established through different activities, following the framework of the community engagement strategy. This included activities such as recreational and sports activities, workshops, focus group discussions and so forth.
We acknowledged that both youth, including children, and women were among the groups most affected by violence and insecurity (either as victims/survivors or perpetrators). We were also aware that these specific community members perceived that they were poorly represented in the community-led management of the camp affairs. Additionally, they felt they had minimal participation in the local structures of power and decision-making processes.
Dear NP Supporters,
I am sitting in Juba. I have just returned from the field where I had the opportunity to visit multiple field sites and see our civilian protectors at work. Amid extreme violence and chaos, they are saving lives. Those of you who made an initial investment seven years ago can be very proud. Your support has led to 145 civilian protectors working in 11 locations.
We have a team of 21 at the Bentiu camp for internally displaced people in the northern part of the country where 129,000 people have fled violence. The majority are women and children. My heart has broken many times on this trip. Yet, there are glimmers and rays of hope as embodied by the women' groups with whom we are working at the camp (pictured below). Their spirit is strong. I am convinced that women will build the road to peace here.
Thank you so much for your on-going support and for promotion of unarmed civilian protection. I've shared some photos from South Sudan below.
With hope and resolve,
Mel DuncanFounding Director and Director of Advocacy and Outreach