Human Rights Day Celebration
Special Events in Rumbek
UNICEF's Human Rights Promotion section organized a Human Rights Day celebration in Rumbek on 10 December attended by local authorities, civil society representatives, some children from Rumbek Senior school and demobilized child soldiers currently attending the Deng Nhial Primary School.
A number of speeches were made which reinforced the commitment of all attendees to the promotion of Human Rights and advocacy on Human Rights issues.
In the welcoming speech, the UNICEF Resident Project Officer for Rumbek stressed UNICEF's commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, especially those of women and children. Following that, the Acting Regional Secretary Monydit said "I am very happy that human rights has became a fact, we have to deal with them in our daily life... We have to translate this objective to reality, therefore we always renew our commitment in promotion and respects of human rights..."
Justice Ruben Madol agreed by saying "I congratulate the Rights Awareness Teams, and I call you the lucky generation of human rights era, because in our child hood we never heard about human rights, except in my law school... And today you are doing community human rights awareness workshops everywhere in the county. Go on with it. For the rights awareness team the human education is only way out from oppressing, the best of opening the eyes of our people to be able to speak out on their rights."
UNICEF's Rights Awareness Teams in southern Sudan have been actively promoting awareness of internationally recognized standards of human rights. 12 workshops were held during the year in Rumbek and Yambio, reaching approximately 600 people. Also in 2000, essential preparatory work took place including the development of Human Rights materials in four Sudanese languages and the development of a Human Rights manual to be used in future training and advocacy work.
Promotion of Human Rights
Community Participation helps to Plan Activities in New Bar Aliap Community Centre
In early December, UNICEF and the Rumbek County Rights Awareness team held a three-day human rights awareness community workshop. The village of Bar Aliap is the site of the new UNICEF-supported community centre which will have a health clinic, water and sanitation facilities, and education facilities to cater for a population of 1,000 people (the health centre caters for 4,000). Over 65 people attended the workshop including traditional leaders, women, teachers, and youths.
During discussions, the concepts of human rights were introduced and participants agreed that most of their traditional values align with international standards of human rights. They also indicated that outdated practices should be eradicated through rights awareness education.
In an effort to ensure a consultative planning process with the local community, UNICEF worked with participants to create an action plan for basic facilities with a view to helping the community, and particularly the children, realize their human rights.
- The Bar Aliap community will build four additional classrooms in the community centre by the end of the year.
- The community will contribute building materials and labour for the remainder of construction of the centre.
- Participants pledged to find solutions to teachers' support as a priority within the community.
Of the 800 school children in Bar Aliap, only 48 are girls. Participants unanimously agreed that girl's education was a major problem in the village and participating leaders pledged to enroll at least 40 girls in the school during 2001.
The early marriage of the girls is associated with existing poverty among the communities. Participants felt that the practice would only change when and if solutions were found to the problem of poverty and the community was educated about the disadvantages of early marriage.
Other Human Rights Promotion Activities
The Human Rights Promotion Assistant Project Officer (APO) facilitated a human rights awareness session for 24 participants of the Rumbek SRRA database workshop. The APO also facilitated a human rights training session in a Lutheran World Federation (LWF) workshop for project development and management in Rumbek. 26 people were in attendance from Yirol and Rumbek counties including local administrators, church leaders, women group, and some members
Emergency Preparedness and Response
EPR Contingency Planning continues
A contingency planning work shop for northern Bahr el Ghazal was conducted during the month with about 20 participants attending. The workshop focused on creating scenarios for the year 2001 specifically for the northern Bahr el Ghazal region with a view to predicting possible impact and assessing the preparedness of OLS and non-OLS partners to respond.
Emergency Response in December
A total of 926 Internally Displaced (IDP) kits were distributed to the Maiwut population displaced to Pagak. World Vision International (WVI) sent 326 kits and UNICEF delivered 600. The distribution was conducted by WVI.
UNICEF distributed 1,091 IDP Kits, 500 collapsible jerrycans and 2 Primary Health Care Unit kits to the community of Bow. Save the Children-UK assisted in the distribution.
UNICEF supplied 1,100 IDP kits to Norweigian Church Aid to be distributed to the IDPs and returnees in Parajok, Polataka and Ikotos. A total of 4,953 households of IDPs and returnees were reported to be in the Acholi corridor.
A joint assessment was carried-out in Pagak by the World Food Programme and WVI. They reported a total of 8,500 IDPs. A food intervention was carried out and a non-food intervention was scheduled to take place.
Finally, an emergency response effort was coordinated to support 256 households affected by a fire that broke out on 10 December in Lokichokio town.
Nyal Base Update
Update on Construction of Nyal Base
Construction of the new UNICEF base camp in Nyal proceeded during the month. Buildings have been constructed including the logistics office/radio room block. Plastering and thatching are underway.
A local contractor has been hired for the manufacture of 30,000 sundried mud bricks. These will be used in the construction planned for January/February.
From 10-12 December, Information Technology and Communications personnel visited Nyal to install satphone and cc:mail systems.
Water and Environmental Sanitation
Throughout the month, operation and maintenance activities continued throughout southern Sudan. On-site training of counterpart personnel also ongoing.
New Water Points
- Two wells were covered with concrete in Nzara Payam, Yambio County.
- Four planned boreholes in Akot Payam were completed.
- Four boreholes were drilling in Pacong Payam. The drilling team will drill another four in Wulu.
Hygiene & Sanitation
18 people attended a workshop on Volunteer Hygiene Promoters in Yambio and Nzara.
The sanitation improvement work at the Rumbek Senior Secondary school was completed.
A hygiene and sanitation awareness drama team was formed in Yambio town. The team has already presented a role-play in a church for an audience of 250 people. This team will move throughout all of the Payams, schools, markets places and churches to bring hygiene awareness messages to the community.
Two hygiene education sessions were conducted by an SRRA WES team at the Rumbek market and Hospital.
Three schools received Food-for-Work assistance for their latrine construction projects (Rumbek Complex, Pacong and Bar Aliap).
67 People attended hygiene awareness sessions in Bangasu Payam and 60 attended in Saura Village.
Three schools were supplied with food-for-work (provided by WFP) to construct latrines.
A School Baseline Assessment workshop was held in Rumbek during the month with 25 participants from locations around southern Sudan. The objective of the workshop was to gather information on the 1,100 schools assessed so far.
The second objective of the workshop was to receive complete assessment reports from all participants and reach agreement on the number of schools to be assessed in 2001.
UNICEF is conducting the School Baseline Assessment project in conjunction with African Education Trust. Among other things, it focuses on qualitative analysis of school structures, enrolment of pupils, retention, drop out rate, schools administration, teacher training and girl's enrolment.
The UNICEF-funded Counselor facilitated the Stress Management session in the OLS Security Workshop that was held between 4-6 December for approximately 17 OLS and non-OLS staff. She also participated in the Cultural Orientation Workshop from the 7-9 December.
Psychosocial care continued for OLS staff, with over 40 interventions for individuals and groups taking place in a single week during December.