4 Jul 2020

 

Yei Civil Society Organizations Trained On Advocacy And Networking

"...after the outbreak of the 2016 conflict, most of the vibrant civil society organizations went silent without meaningfully speaking on behalf of the voiceless members of the communities."

By Daniel Friday Martin

YEI (14.03.2020)-Gurtong: More than 30 representatives from different civil society organizations in Yei River County, Central Equatoria State, have been trained on the importance of joint advocacy, sharing of information, networking, partnership, lobbying from donors and their role in active citizenship in mapping out issues affecting communities and how to strategically develop joint approach to address issues concerning community needs.

The training was conducted by a national NGO-Center for Democracy and Development (CEDED) with financial assistance from the Open society Initiative for East Africa (OSIEA).

Eric Joseph Moses, CEDED’s executive director told Gurtong that the training was aimed at strengthening the capacities of the local NGOs, community based organizations and the media to build team networking on how to proactively respond to issues affecting the local population.

Eric said, after the outbreak of the 2016 conflict, most of the vibrant civil society organizations went silent without meaningfully speaking on behalf of the voiceless members of the communities.

He said it’s high time to empower the local civil society organizations to be awaken and reach out to the unreached areas in delivering services to the local population after the formation of the revitalized government of national unity.

“These civil society organization have been fragmented and they compete among each other and this impacts a lot in working together as a team.

“Another thing we have discovered is the decline of the civil society forum for going quite without doing its work effectively and that is why we decided that it is important to strengthen their capacity so that they network and share information in regards to issues affecting their operation and by bringing them together can also help them to promote joint advocacy and lobby for funds to address issues affecting people in the communities”, Eric stressed.

Dara Felix, a facilitator at the training has appealed to the members of the Yei civil society forum to strongly stand up and advocate for the rights of the vulnerable members of the communities so that government and other humanitarian partners can respond to pressing needs of the society.

“We need not to sleep as members of the Yei Civil Society Forum. We need to take the role of active citizenship very seriously so that we help in restoring hopes and shape societies in a very proactive way. The civil society has a role to play in promoting development and good governance, starting from local level up to the national level and it is us to start doing the right thing now”, he added.

Mustafa Adams, chairperson of the Yei Civil Society Forum appreciated CEDED and OSIEA for timely empowering the capacities of the local NGOs in Yei with fresh skills, experience and knowledge on how to promote good governance at local level.

“It’s my pleasure having attended this capacity building for first of its kind after the outbreak of the conflict in this country and from now on wards we feel empowered and ready to put the learned knowledge into practice. I equally call on all of us the members of the civil society forum in Yei to really unite as a team in moving our communities forward”

Beatrice Tokwaje, another participant who represented NGO Voice For Change (VFC), also appreciated CEDED and its donor partner for shading more experience on how civil society organizations can influence policies that aims at good governance and service delivery to the people.
Tokwaje said she is ready to share the learned knowledge with her organizational members so as to bring about a positive change in the society.

“We have been relaxed in advocating for the rights of our people. At the moment we feel strengthened and also with the presence of peace returning to our country we are ready to go and help our communities”.

There are over 30 civil society organizations and community based organizations operating in Yei River County, Central Equatoria State.
 

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14/03/2020, 7:46 PM
 - Posted by Jacob Akol
Significance of civil societies in nation-building, stability and unity: My brother Angelo Atem asked me about the need for so many societies in a place like Yei in a news story posted on Gurtong. He wrote: (Jacob Jiel Akol, “over 30 civil societies operate in Yei” this is what make me question the role of these organizations. What make these organizations deference from briefcases political parties in South Sudan? Are they just formed to advocate for community or they just formed to get funds from sponsors? Are 30 plus organizations not too many for one city like Yei?) My answer below:
2Puorchien Matueny Makeny and Daniel Wol Kon
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Jacob Jiel Akol
Jacob Jiel Akol Good question. But civil societies are a reflection of different aspects of life in a community. Here in a town or city in UK you will find a society for practically everything: Society of Professional Cooks, Union of Social Workers, Association of Lonely House Wives, Breadmakers Society, Society for Protection of Animals, Pussy Cats Associetion, Local Writers Association, Union of Undertakers, Local Union of Philosophers, Association of Traditional Brewers, Union of Actors... Name it, there is always an association or union for it. It is a matter of areas of interest and way of living. Skye is the limit. Yei probable needs more civil societies Angelo Atem. Think about it. Perhaps you have a very restricted and limited idea of what makes a civil society. Civil societies often rotate around areas of interests. This way, it is easy for ethnic communities to have something in common with members of other ethnic communities; for example Teachers Union, Transporters Union will bring together members of different ethnic communities to protect their interest.
14/03/2020, 8:07 PM
 - Posted by Jacob Akol
I am a member of a number of civil society organizations, amongst the Sudans Studies Society of UK.
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