German Ambassador to South Sudan Hon. Jan Hendrik van Thiel visited Kuajok yesterday accompanied by World Vision’s Country Programme Director Mesfin Loha. He lauded the great work that World Vision and partners were doing and also acknowledged the challenges in implementation. His visit included Kuajok States Hospital where he saw the improved facilities as well as some ongoing nutrition activities.
Kuajok is the capital city of Gogrial State where World Vision, with support from the German Federal Foreign Office (GoG) and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), implements the projects on Emergency Nutrition and Food Security and Livelihoods. Over 80,000 children are supported in the campaign against malnutrition, as well as over 33,000 pregnant and lactating women. The small-scale farming initiative works with over 2,400 farmers.
Hon. van Thiel met with the smallholder farmers of the BMZ project that local partner South Sudan Grassroots Initiative for Development (SSGID) organized. The farmers shared their experience and learned about the changes in mindset and huge impact that a project on the people within a span of 10 months. The project will be implemented for four years.
Left to right: Minister of Health & Environment Micheal Nyang Malueth, Deputy Governor Micheal Nyang Malueth, Gogrial State Governor Victor Atem Atem, German Ambassador Jan Hendrik van Thiel, World Vision Country Programme Director Mesfin Loha, Gogrial State Speaker Ariech Mayar Ariech, State Security Advisor Adhil Mabuoc, SPLM Secretary Makuc Aru Luach, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Ater Kuei Thiep, World Vision Germany Regional Program Manager Hanno Salditt, World Vision Zonal Program Manager Esatu Elilo, World Vision Korea Fragile Context Programming Manager Sunghyun Lee, Minister of Rural Development and Cooperatives Joong Anthony Deng and Minister of Gender and Social Welfare miir Amet Kuol.
“The government of Germany is happy to partner with World Vision because the people themselves can demonstrate and testify the importance of the project to their families. World Vision’s local partner SSGID helped transform the farmers’ mentality from subsistence farming to commercial farming”, Hon. Van Thiel says. The ambassador was impressed by the stories shared and congratulated them along with the local facilitators on what has been accomplished, the active participation and their vision for the future.
In his message in behalf of World Vision, Mesfin Loha says, “The areas of Gogrial West and Twic County still have the largest number of malnutrition cases. World Vision, together with our partners, is working hard to ensure children have access to health and nutrition services to ensure they grow up healthy. It is our commitment to work hard to ensure the children's well-being so they can have life in its fullness.”
The Governor of Gogrial State Victor Atem Atem committed to work with World Vision saying, “South Sudan has various climatic conditions from the North, South, East and West. I request humanitarian organizations to consider the conditions and support these areas to improve food production.”
Minister of Health Dr. Michael Nyang Malueth adds, “We thank World Vision for supporting health and nutrition at the hospital. They provided the most needed support for the people of Gogrial State. We will continue to work together for many years to come to eradicate the diseases.”
The ambassador's visit has sparked an inspiration to the people and the staff implementing the program.
“Ambassador van Thiel’s visit has inspired the people and the team on the ground. He encouraged the staff members and the participants to do well and make the most of the projects. Meeting him face to face brought them joy as they expressed their thanksgiving to the people of Germany”, shares Esatu Elilo, World Vision’s Zonal Program Manager in Bahr El Ghazal.
The ambassador expressed happiness on the story of one of the mothers whose child survived because of the nutrition interventions and improvement of her livelihood. Hon. van Thiel says, “This story made my day.” He also listened to the needs, challenges and opportunities we have on the ground and promised to share with his team in Juba and in Germany.
“I am very grateful for the generous support of Government of Germany in funding the projects that are directly addressing the needs of vulnerable groups especially children and mothers. By integrating emergency nutrition intervention with food security and livelihoods, this will unquestionably help enhance the well-being of families and communities”, concludes Elilo.
Photos by Lisi Emmanuel Alex, Communications Officer