By William Madouk Garang
A group of Women in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State received ten grinding machines (mills) donated by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in collaboration with Empower Youth Africa (EYA) Organization.
The donation is meant to enhance women’s businesses for peace and social cohesion in Aweil South County, through a financial support from the Swedish government.
One of the beneficiaries who spoke to media said the grinding mill would support their families for some years to come, and applauded the organizations for the support.
“Since EYA and UNDP intervened in the situation at the Malek-Alel County, the situation has been improving because the grinding mill machine will bring great impact to us for future,” said Mary Nyanut Chuor.
She added that from the beginning she depended on well-wishers for food but currently she could provide her own food.
Garang Mangok also appreciated the donors for supporting flood-affected persons, and described it as a rescue for the vulnerable group.
“Providing villagers with a more stable grinding mill machine will reduce hunger. Target youth and the activities that can bring youth and young women together in order they see how they can co-exist”.
Meanwhile, Monicah Ajak Madut, UNDP Cluster Coordinator at NBGs said UNDP together with EYA collaborated to help change youth from being partners in driven conflict and resolving conflict.
“We know that if a woman is doing business, she will be doing it for the benefit of her family, the benefit of her community, and the benefit of society,” Ms. Madut said.
In South Sudan, most of the foods that people eat almost every day are porridge-type dishes made out of ground maize. Before it can be made, maize kernels have to be cut off cobs and then ground into a smooth powder.
Women do all this work by hand. For the grinding, they must squat on their knees for hours, hurting their back and joints. This laborious work takes several months to complete after each harvest. Sometimes, families go hungry when women can’t keep up with production.