By Sandra Ndonye
The streets of Juba were a buzz with people singing, dancing and waving flags as the world’s newest nation turned one.
The future holds a wealth of opportunity for the country’s growth and development says World Vision’s South Sudan’s National Director.
“Despite the challenges, the future of South Sudan is bright. All stakeholders need to come together to engage with the people and government of South Sudan to achieve the vision articulated through the country’s strategic priorities to strengthen engagement achieve more success,” Mr. Edwin Asante said.
World Vision has been in South Sudan for more than two decades, providing child focused development, working in collaboration with the government and partner agencies to serve the local communities.
World Vision was a major partner before South Sudan’s independence and therefore celebrated the advent of the new nation last year.
World Vision South Sudan maintains a high level of expertise in humanitarian and emergency response, and continues to be a main partner with government of South Sudan in responding to the needs of returnees coming from the north.
Beyond relief, World Vision South Sudan has expanded its programmes and seeks to engage in developmental activities which transform and empower local communities, with emphasis to women and children who are more vulnerable.
“Apart from providing food aid, World Vision South Sudan is developing innovative agricultural programmes aimed at expanding the production of local farmers and making it profitable through value addition and export promotion,” says Mr. Asante. “An example of this is a new high impact community based agricultural programme that targets 200, 000 hectares of land for sustainable community based production.”
In South Sudan, half of the population is made up of children under 18. About 70 per cent of children do not go to school.
Education is a key sector in which World Vision South Sudan works closely with the government and relevant stakeholders to design, fund and manage children’s education as a long-term investment for the development of this new nation.