Unicef Operations in south Sudan Monthly Report Nov 2000

Table of Contents
Feature: Promotion of Human Rights: Changing Lives

Promotion of Human Rights



Water and Environmental Sanitation

Airboats, Oxcarts and the Cueicok Community Centre

Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

November 20 th marked the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which was celebrated in Rumbek and Yambio, southern Sudan.

In Yambio County, the Comboni and Nzara Primary Schools performed dramas, songs and a traditional dance. The drama demonstrated some of the CRC articles - the child's right to Education, the child's opinion, the child's right to protection from abuse, and labor and parental responsibilities.

In Rumbek, students from the Rumbek Secondary School and the Deng Nhial Primary School for Demobilized Child Soldiers read letters that they had prepared for the occasion. In attendance were Dr. Susan Rice, the United States Under-Secretary for African Affairs and her delegation, a visiting delegation from Net4Kids, Netherlands and regional Sudanese authorities. In addition to the letters, the children presented the visitors with pictures they had drawn depicting some of the dangers faced by children in war. The celebrations were concluded in the evening with a football match between the Deng Nhial and Comboni Catholic Schools.

Promotion of Human Rights

UNICEF's Promotion of Human Rights project was launched in early 2000 and has made progress toward raising awareness of human rights in southern Sudan. Since its inception, Human Rights Awareness workshops were developed and have been conducted for groups that included people from the civil administration, military, church groups, school children and members of civil society, among others. One of the major thrusts of the programme has been the development of a human rights field manual to be used by the Rights Awareness Teams that are actively disseminating human rights messages.

The key to the effectiveness of this programme, is the ability of disseminators to draw links between internationally recognized human rights principles and traditional Sudanese values. The effects of the workshops have already been seen. Workshop participants have actively applied the principles learned and have taken action such as preventing a punishment considered to be 'cruel' and the abduction into marriage of a school girl (see box at right).

As the year comes to a close, efforts will continue to increase the number of dissemination workshops and to explore new ways of presenting human rights messages.

Schoolgirl Saved from Forced Marriage

The benefits of having active human rights involvement on the ground has again been demonstrated, this time when armed men attempted to abduct a girl from school and force her into marriage. Teachers at the Rumbek Senior Secondary School protested vigorously, and were joined by local community leaders, women's groups and churchmen who were able to deter the men. Human Rights workshops in the community have had a dramatic effect. Passive, unquestioning attitudes toward abuses of authority are changing.

UNICEF staff who spoke to the girl after the incident were told she wanted to continue her studies. She is one of only four female pupils at the school. Her teachers also say that the girl has gained confidence after seeing so many people stand beside her and defend her rights.

The events at the school came on the same day that the third and last session on Human Rights was concluded at the Rumbek Training Centre. Forty-five participants in the SRRA Communications Workshop discussed how international conventions could be applied in southern Sudan. UNICEF Rights Awareness Teams have been and will continue to spearhead awareness raising efforts throughout the county.

Yambio County -

Three Human Rights workshops were held in Sakure, Bangasu and Nabiapai. An average of 60 people attended each workshop.

A human rights workshop was also held in Lirangu about 25km from Yambio town. About 84 participants from different groups attended including the youth group, medical personal from IMC, two chiefs, a women's group and church leaders.

In addition to these workshops, the concepts of human rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) were introduced in an SRRA communication workshop held in Yambio which drew about 53 participants from Yambio, Yei, Kajo Keji, Mundri and Maridi Counties

Youth Millennium Project -
'The Future Searchers'

The Future Searchers group was busy throughout the month translating CRC articles into the Zande language. They also wrote poem, which was presented at the CRC Day celebrations in Nzara, Yambio County. They wrote that 'Nothing sounds more pleasant to the ear than peace. We don't want war again because war is bad'. The youth were also shown videos of the Sara project and landmines stories. Following that, they have developed some drawings and stories which they hope to share with Youth from other countries.

Rumbek County -

An SRRA communication workshop in Rumbek included a session of discussion on human rights. There were approximately 45 participants and the discussion covered the basic concepts articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, articles of the CRC relevant to southern Sudan and some aspects of Humanitarian Law.

Programme Evaluation

An evaluation of previous human rights community workshops in Yambio and Nadiangare took place during the month. One of the main concerns was to ascertain what the two communities had learned about the workshops and how the workshops could help to improve or promote human rights. Preliminary feedback indicated that many people were beginning to understand issues related to Human Rights. Some people surveyed emphasized that they plan to carry human rights messages to those who were not able to attend the workshops.


Water and Sanitation Facilities in Schools

Building on UNICEF's commitment to integrate services, the Education and Water and Sanitation Sectors teamed up to bring needed facilities into schools in Yambio and Nzara Payams. The WES section is assisting with both water supply and the provision of sanitary facilities. This includes hygiene promotion and follow-up on the promotion activities.

Workshop on the Proposed Life Skills

Curriculum for southern Sudan A three-day consultative workshop was held on the Life Skills Curriculum for southern Sudan. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the curriculum, but also to report back to the community on the studies conducted in Yambio during September 2000. The groups in attendance included adults and children as well as interested NGOs and local authorities

The workshop was well attended and community members in attendance said that they were pleased to be involved so deeply in the process. The NGOs and local authorities also committed to make contributions to the curriculum. There will be one more consultative workshop on the curriculum before the final document is produced.

World Space Digital Receivers in Yambio

Staff from World Space visited Yambio for two days during November to demonstrate the World Space Multimedia technology in Yambio and assess how the technology could be used to help with the distance education project. During the visit, UNICEF staff in Yambio were trained in the use of the World Space Multimedia technology in downloading information from the Internet in order to view and make information available for teachers in Yambio County.

As the World Space technology is scheduled to be used in Community Centres around southern Sudan, the Education Section has scheduled training for at least one community member from each area where a Community Centre project is being implemented. This person will take care of the digital receiver and make it available for use by the community.

Meeting with the Education Authority in Yambio County

A meeting was conducted late in the month to discuss the following issues:

1. To discuss the work plan of the task Force on Girls' Education. This was a follow-up on a meeting that was held earlier in the month of October during which UNICEF mentioned the imbalances in enrollment of girls as opposed to boys in schools in Yambio. The Task Force on Girls' Education was formed and commissioned to conduct a community meeting with key community leaders in various places in Yambio Payam. So far, the Task Force has conducted two community meetings and judging from response of the community to the first two meetings, the effort of the Task Force will definitely make a great impact on the enrollment of girls in school during 2001.

2. Another issue discussed during the meeting was the opening of new schools in the County. Using the working population figure in Yambio County of 240,000 people, two hundred and forty (240) schools should be made available for the children in the county. Plans were made to open the 240 schools over a period of no less than five years starting with the payams that have fewer schools at present.

Meeting with the Task Force on Girls' Education.

On 21 November, UNICEF Education staff held a meeting with the newly formed Task Force on Girls' Education in Yambio County. During the meeting the activities of the Task Force were defined and the schedule of meetings with community leaders was drawn. It was decided that the Task Force would conduct three meetings with chiefs and key community leaders in three different market areas. The first two meetings have already been conducted and were felt to be successful. The people who attended the meetings promised to cooperate with schools in their villages and ensure that all school-age girls not attending schools would be enrolled. They also committed not only to work hard to enroll girls in school but also to support the teachers in schools and actively participate in school administration. One thing that came out of the meetings was a clear desire by the community to have close follow-up from the Task Force on girls' enrollment.


VHC formed for Bar Aliep

The formation of Village Health Committee (VHC) took place at the new Community Centre to be constructed in Bar Aliep. Headed by a nurse, the committee is responsible for health activities in the surrounding villages and is to act as caretaker of the centre during the period of construction.

Distribution of Medical Supplies

Throughout the month, the Health Sector continued in distribution of PHCU kits and other emergency supplies. Among the locations receiving kits were Alor, Bar Pakam, Malueth, Mayen, Cueicok and Payuer.

UNICEF Participates in World AIDS Day

UNICEF, in conjunction with WHO, observed World Aids Day in Yambio, southern Sudan. The activities involved approximately 4,000 people from areas in and around Yambio. The Day consisted of activities by school children, traditional dancers, songs and AIDS video shows. Speeches focused on Awareness and Preventive measures. Throughout the day UNICEF distributed 'Stop Aids' t-shirts.

Water and Environmental Sanitation

Hand Drilling and Boreholes Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal

In Upper Nile, the hand drilling was ongoing throughout the month in Dablual. In Turalei, Twic County, four boreholes were drilled with SUPRAID. Material for another six bore-holes was to be sent.


In Yambio, the deep drilling campaign was ongoing during November with the 17 th successful borehole drilled. However, the hand dug well program was temporarily stopped due to a problem with the sludge dewatering pump.


In Rumbek, UNICEF WES finished its drilling campaign with 20 boreholes in Cueibet. The drilling contractor PAT AFRICA then moved operations to Akot Payam where UNICEF and its counterparts began the drilling of four boreholes. By the end of the month, two boreholes were completed at Bar Aliap Community Centre and Tit Agok Primary School. The Drilling Rig was then shifted to Laam village where the forth borehole is to be drilled.

Hygiene and Sanitation

In both Rumbek and Yambio, the latrine construction program in schools is continuing. The sanitation improvement works at Rumbek Senior Secondary school are completed and UNICEF WES counterparts will formally hand over the facilities to the school authorities.

Also in Rumbek, hygiene awareness sessions are being conducted. Twenty hygiene volunteers were identified and trained in four sectors. Additionally, at least nine latrines were dug and put to use.

Operation and Maintenance

The SRRA WES team in Rumbek repaired at least ten hand pumps during the month. In Pacong Payam six soak away pits were constructed to improve drainage at six water points. The communities also made fences around five hand pumps in Pacong Payam. Counterpart water staff also reported the maintenance of five hand pumps in Kuei (Rumbek) Payam, and Rumbek town. Finally in Rumbek, one open hand dug well in Patar village was rehabilitated. The main rehabilitation works were deepening, lining, capping and pump installation.

Airboats, Ox Carts and the Cueicok Community Centre

Progress on the Airboat Team

The UNICEF/OLS Southern Sector Senior Programme Officer visited Nyal during the month to assess the progress that has been made in the set-up of the camp and the ongoing airboat training operations. During his visit, he launched "free" airboat services to the NGOs on ground and their counterparts that will be available until the end of February 2001. The aim behind the free services is to facilitate collection of the data necessary on airboat load capacity, fuel consumption and the duration of various trips. The information gathered will be used as the basis for fees for airboat service in the future. Currently the airboats are travelling in a 10 km radius outside Nyal, as they have not yet been fitted with HF radio communication systems.

Training of eight RASS personnel and two Kenyan UNICEF staff took place during the month culminating in the selection of four RASS airboat operators. During the training, the airboat crew and trainees visited various locations to collect data, learned all aspects of operation of the airboats and undertook various training exercises. The second phase of the training, which began near the end of November, will focus on enhancing the navigational and mechanical skills of the trainees.

Vegetable Garden in Cueicok

The Community Centre at Cueicok continues to show promise, with the community deciding to expand the facilities and undertake the work on their own. Some of the elders from the community visited the UNICEF compound in Rumbek and were shown the model vegetable garden and given a treadle pump along with an assorted collection of vegetable seeds. They plan to start a garden at the community centre in December.