Decades of civil war in South Sudan has left more than 16 million m2 of ground contaminated with mines and unexploded ammunition. The many Explosive Remnants of War (ERWs) make it difficult for people to use the land for farming and unsafe for people to move around.
Children are disproportionately affected by ERWs, because they play in the fields and pick up “interesting” looking items.
Both humanitarian organisations, like DCA, and private companies work hard to clear the land, but until this task has been completed it is important to inform people about the hazards, how to report a suspicious item, and how to stay safe.
This 6-month project is funded by Welt Ohne Minen and focuses on delivering live-saving safety messages through Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE) to children and communities.
In seven schools, students are identified and trained as Peer Risk Educators, so they can teach their friends and family about the risks present in South Sudan.
Furthermore, the EORE team trains Community Focal Points, who can relay the message in the communities. In each school the team helps set up a drama club, where the kids make dramas, songs, and poems as a way to spread the safety messages in a creative way.
The teams also use wall murals (graffiti) to publicly create awareness. The project ends with a Talent Show, where all the drama clubs present their individual contributions.
The objective is to reduce the risks and threats related to landmines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and promote behavioural change through Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE).
With years of experience with EORE, DCA South Sudan has established a solid approach to working with children in a creative and fun way, that ensures that the safety-messages are spread.
Through the efforts of DCA and other humanitarian organisations’ EORE teams, the number of injuries and deaths as a result of ERW’s are reducing each year. According to UNMAS, over 300,000 people have been reached through EORE activities in South Sudan in 2022.
The Peer Risk Educators and Community Focal Points, who participate in this project, feel safer, when moving around, and they feel empowered by having this knowledge, that they must pass on. The project also works with a strong focus on inclusion and respect of Persons with Disabilities, which is an important lesson for children in a country with many war amputees.
The project has reached a total of 7,565 people directly through various awareness activities.
350 Peer Risk Educators from seven schools and 231 Community Focal Points have been trained. Furthermore, 20 radio broadcasts have been aired.
DCA South Sudan has a strong presence in the Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) sector, both in terms of clearing activities and EORE activities. The activities contribute to one of DCA’s global goals of “Save Lives”.
The South Sudan programme works towards more integrated programming with a focus on a holistic approach and integrating livelihood activities as a natural follow-up in the HMA projects.
About the project
Title: ‘Enhancing Safety for Youth and Children through Sustainable Explosive Ordnance Risk Education Activities in Juba County, Central Equatoria State’
Period: 1 May 2022 – 31 October 2022
Donor: Welt Ohne Minen/World Without Mines
Amount: $75,000 USD
People reached: 7,565