World Vision is Empowering Communities to Promote Peace in South Darfur
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), between January and August 2022 more than 177,000 people have been forced to flee their homes, while 377 people were killed and another 431 were injured due to conflict in six states in Sudan.
World Vision Sudan, with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and World Vision US, implements peace-building projects in Sudan.
The Darfur Community Peace-Building and Stabilization Fund in Kubum and Ed Elfursan in South Darfur is aimed at promoting peace between the 30 different communities in the area by using community-based resolution committees. These committees, composed of local administrators, religious leaders, women and youth representatives from the different ethnic groups, are trained by World Vision on conflict resolution and how to promote peaceful co-existence.
One of those trained is Sheikh Ahmed, the head of the Nurly village committee in Ed Elfursan.
“Previously the methods we used to resolve conflict were not objective as we'd only rely on one source. After the training by World Vision, I’m now equipped with knowledge on conflict resolution. Conflict is now resolved in a systematic way by collecting information from all parties and conducting follow-up meetings until the issue is resolved. I have been empowered to contribute to my community on peace building matters,” says Sheikh Ahmed.
Nafisa Mohammed is the Nurly village committee secretary and a local teacher. According to Nafisa, prior to the project, women had limited roles in peace-building gatherings in the community. However, with more training and inclusion of women in the community committees, women now have a voice and contribute to the peaceful resolution of conflict in Nurly village.
“There was limited participation by women in peace-building and even when we participated, we had no influence on decisions. Now I feel empowered to take part in peace-building efforts and use my role to spread messages on peaceful co-existence,” says Nafisa.
Conflict in Darfur is largely driven by competition over natural resources such as water and land. The Darfur peace-building project seeks to address some of these root causes of conflict by providing infrastructure support, income generating activities and vocational training to enable beneficiaries support themselves and co-exist peacefully.
Since February 2021, when the project began, World Vision has:
- Rehabilitated 20 water stations providing access to water for over 100,000 people and 140,000 livestock;
- Constructed two market shades providing 30 women and men from different communities space to earn an income by selling local wares;
- Provided 30 women and men motorbike carts to start income generating activities;
- Constructed six classrooms improving the quality of education for more than 500 students;
- Constructed a health centre in Markundi improving access to health services for more than 52,000 people.
According to Sheik Ahmed and Nafisa, the rehabilitated water sources and markets have reduced conflict between the different communities and the training on conflict resolution is helping them resolve their issues in an amicable way.
“Since the beginning of this project, it has been calm with little skirmishes in the community,” concluded Sheik Ahmed.