Youth Without Hope: Building a Future for Refugees in South Sudan

For a country that experienced humanitarian crises due to prolonged war over the years, South Sudan is building on the path of progress.

According to United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the country faces numerous challenges which include lower access to education for hard-to-reach children, 63% of teachers without formal training, and 2.8 million children out of school from 2.2 million in 2018 to 2.8 million in 2021, and about one-third of school are either damaged or destroyed.

The East Africa-based Digital Innovation and Skills Hub (DISH) developed 3 months that can help vulnerable groups who have been denied rights to education and those who have difficulty accessing it. The program is implemented in South Sudan in partnership with Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO)

With the DISH courses, youths can develop skills in Peacebuilding, Computer science, Primary School Teaching, Community Health, Community and Customary Law, and Community Mental Health.

Mr. Edward Yakini CEPO’s Director believes that the DISH program is an opportunity for young people to acquire employable skills.

“We have huge numbers of young people. They see it as an opportunity that offers them a lift to another level of getting themselves employment”

Currently, up to 4,000 people have been enrolled, while the team is planning to train them online/offline in Juba and Wau. With assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) they will have access to learning materials, computers, and the internet in physical learning centers in both areas.

For learners in communities without internet access, and who cannot physically access learning centers in Juba and Wao, the team planned to reach them through radio broadcast.

Another opportunity for learners in Wau is that the courses have been translated into Juba Arabic. The knowledge gained can help in the country’s peace-building process.

“The students will be prepared for job placement in peacebuilding. There are projects in United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and UNDP program on peace-building”

Through DISH, online short certificate courses of three months are created and made available. The courses increase the employability of youth and women because they link to key emerging sectors in employment and contribute to stability, peace, and resilience.


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