Central Equatoria State, National, News

CES launches trauma healing program

By Kidega Livingstone


Central Equatoria state launches trauma healing in Central following rampant cases of distress and disorder (mental illness) among the people of South Sudan.

Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative under takes the program with other stakeholders.

Speaking during the launch, Provincial Secretary for the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, Peter Garang, described the trauma in the country as “reality”.

He said all the South Sudanese are traumatized due to the conflict that killed many people and forced others to flee to the in the neighbouring counties.

“It’s a great time for South Sudan to embrace peace and healing because we are all traumatized,” he said.

Garang said nobody knows the types of traumas they suffer bot only peace heals the people.

“Some of us have wounds that we cannot talk about, but they can be healed, and together we can build this country,” he added.

Garang advised that peace bodies operating in the country should take investing in trauma healing awareness and psychosocial support, seriously.

Central Equatoria State’s Director General for Peacebuilding, James Wani, in his part, described the launch of trauma healing as paramount.

He said that the state government is willing to create awareness and advocate for the initiative.

“Those having mental problems are the number one priority of the state government, and we are going to work hand in hand with you in advocating for trauma healing,” he said.

Wani also recounted the prevailing economic hardship as a contributing factor to trauma.

“Now days we have what we call economic stress because we have no food to eat and children are being chased from school because of school fees,” he added.

Meanwhile, Director General of National Ministry of Peacebuilding, Anthoney Angu observes that trauma healing needs awareness.

He said most of the young people involve themselves in alcohol and drug consumption to heal the trauma, yet it kills them.

“Mental issue is real eating us one by one. Take this initiative seriously so that the activities spread not only in Juba but in all ten states and the three administrative areas,” Angu stressed.

Conflict Resolution Expert for Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative, William Ongoro Peter said that the organization helps the community in conflict resolution and empowers youth and women to strive for long-term positive change.

“We have targeted communities to become more resilient, and this comes as a result of our strategic plan, and we are grateful to our donors for their support of trauma healing in South Sudan,” he said.

Since 2013, South Sudan’s civil war has killed an estimated 400,000 people, displaced four million more, and plunged parts of the country into famine. The overwhelming majority of South Sudanese people have been affected by trauma. Many feel powerless and are therefore prevented from effectively engaging in society.

In central Equatoria State and the entire South Sudan, the number of war victims is very large and requires healing, and “trauma” is a very severe shock or very upsetting experience that at times causes psychological damage.


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