Empowering Women through Skill Development in South Sudan

Peter Gatkuoth

A young woman from Juba, South Sudan, channels her activism into empowering women and girls through her organization, offering training in bread-making, tailoring, and more.

The organization’s focus on empowering widows and vulnerable women aims to foster self-sufficiency, with initiatives like bakery training providing stable income opportunities aligned with local market demands.

Ruth Nyalel James Kai, Executive Director for Africa Indigenous Women Empowerment founded in 2018   says “we realize in every five women that are working, at least three are widows and the only way for us to be able to start and have a stable community is to bring up these women and we should only start with what can help.

“The objective is to empower women and after we empower them, the women will be able to know their rights, they will be able to fight for their children, they will be able to bring food to the table because some South Sudanese don’t believe in women. We also don’t only deal with these widows. We also deal with orphans, “ Kai stated.

Ruth Nyalel James Kai is the Executive Director for Africa Indigenous.

Ruth added that she was able to hold a meeting with the women and she asked them what else, what can I start with? In case there’s a way she wants to help them and then they were like, you can start with generating activities and they choose bread or bakery. Bread is a stable food whereby when you take to the market, you will not bring it back. South Sudanese love bread and bread is part of them. That was the reason why the bakery part of it came to be and African indigenous women empowerment.

Meanwhile Roda Nyakor Bol, a beneficiary of the bakery training, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity, emphasizing the lasting impact of skill acquisition over knowledge she got from the training.

Nyakor’s testimony reflects the transformative impact of empowerment initiatives on widows in South Sudan, emphasizing the sustainability of skills over direct financial aid. The focus on bread making resonates culturally and economically, addressing immediate needs while fostering independence. The collaboration with organizations like Trinity Energy and MTN underscores the crucial role of partnerships in advancing social and economic empowerment at grassroots levels.

“We are going to do will not like giving us free money if you give us money, the money can finish and what we have learned is better than any amount that organization can give us’’ Nyakor said.

Nyakor further highlights the transformative impact of empowering widows through skill-building initiatives like bakery training. By focusing on practical skills that resonate with local markets, such as bread-making, organizations like African Indigenous Women Empowerment can foster sustainable change and economic independence among vulnerable communities in South Sudan.

Partnerships with companies like Trinity Energy and MTN demonstrate the importance of collaborative efforts in driving social change and providing essential resources for empowerment initiatives. Their contributions not only provide tangible support, such as funding for equipment like tools for baking breads, but also symbolize a commitment to the long-term sustainability of programs that uplift women, widows, and orphans in the country.

Beyond skill development, the organization supports education for orphans and children of widows, striving to address broader community needs through partnerships and donations, including support from Trinity Energy and MTN.

Ruth said the background of the organization: The Africa Indigenous Women Empowerment came to be on 13, 2018 and they registered as groups of women who came together and thought there is need of us to help widow, to help orphan and to be  eliminate and poverty in South Sudan and to start income activities.

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