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LongJohnKitumwabakary

My name is Akol John but my friends call me ‘Long John’. I am 23-years old and a refugee from South Sudan. I fled the conflict in South Sudan in 2016 and settled with my uncle and aunt in Siripi Zone, Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement. I went to school and completed Primary Seven in 2017 with hopes of finding more money to continue with secondary school.

I could only hope for possibilities while I spent most of my time with my friends idle at the trading center.”

‘Long John’ had seen a lot of potential and opportunity in capturing the local market, mainly those of South Sudanese decent who love bread and pastries. He claims that his vision has always driven him into an aspiring bakery owner and expert baker.

When ANCHOR advertised for the trade during community sensitization and pre-selection career guidance campaigns held in Siripi Zone in December 2019, ‘Long John’ was among the first people from from his settlement community to apply, but soon after had to travel back to South Sudan to visit his family. By a stroke of good luck, he got a second chance to enroll into the Second Cohort training after the first COVID 19 lockdown was lifted. 

“While on the project, I could not wait for those times when we had to bake cakes, bread and the mandazi. These are on high demand in any community since families celebrate birthdays and must have breakfast regularly.”

With a lot of vigor and thirst for knowledge, John became exceptional at school, and he was later selected as the oven operator, where he played a vital role in supporting the first cohort bakery trainees during their DIT assessment.

After completing school-based training, John was placed at Kitumwa Bakery in Koboko town for his Industrial training where, his work ethic was noticed right away, and he would later be retained for employment by the bakery (Figure 45). From having zero income before the training, John now earns approximately 300,000 Uganda Shillings monthly. With this, he is able to support his uncle and aunt back in Siripi and send some little money to his parents in South Sudan.

John’s success story is only one among 360 other refugees and host community youth and women who completed training in various marketable vocational trades under the RAISE Project implemented by ANCHOR with funding from the European Trust Fund through GIZ and Enabel. On the last day of project closure, at least 54 other beneficiaries had obtained employment. This number is anticipated to rise over the next six months further confirming the effectiveness of the skilling interventions delivered in addressing gaps in equity and skills levels of vulnerable and disadvantaged refugee and host community women and youth.

Refugee Girls Trailblazing: Brenda Shina:
By Emmanuel Munduga – ANCHOR  

Brenda Shina (Source: ANCHOR)

Brenda Shina is a shy 18-year old. A South Sudanese refugee who came to a settlement in Uganda in 2016 at the age of 14 after the collapse of the peace agreement which was signed in 2015 between Salva Kiir and Riek Machar - friends turned foes. A fierce battle ensued between their loyalists in 2016 in a clash dubbed the Battle of Juba. The stench of death hung in the air as the dead lined the streets. The fierce fighting spread to other towns including Yei towards the southwest of Juba where the U.N human rights office reported that about 114 civilians were killed by pro-government forces between July 2016 and January 2017, figures which were dismissed as “baseless” by the SPLA. According to the U.N., the SPLA also committed an unknown number of rapes, torture and looting.

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The Untamed Wild event was a celebration of hope and love. Organized by Dwelling Places and Drew Tete Limited, the art exhibition was a first for many. Not the least for Patrick Munduga, ANCHOR’s Executive Director who had the honor of being invited as Chief Guest to his first art exhibition. Yikes!

 

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Following the deaths of 18 civilians in a displaced people’s camp run by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in the city of Malakal on February 18, reporters are beginning to piece together details on the incident.
According to the Daily Beast, “The evidence so far strongly indicates that soldiers from the government forces of President Salva Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), possibly working with militias, planned, prepared, and carried out the attack.”

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In South Sudan’s two-year old civil war, oil was a key factor in fueling the war economy. But reports are emerging that elephants may have contributed to this war economy. As reported last week by Bloomberg News, South Sudan's wildlife service says at least 500 elephants were killed during the fighting over the past two years.

This comes in the wake of a warning by Major-General Philip Chol Majak, the country’s director of wildlife services, that South Sudan has suffered severe losses to wildlife.

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