With support from the Norwegian Church Aid, SIHA is working to strengthen GBV prevention, response and risk mitigation in Wau, South Sudan. The project intends to address cross-cutting issues in addition to engaging various community stakeholders, including men and boys and institutions (schools, local government, etc.) at all levels in an effort to transform attitudes and strengthen prevention, response, and risk mitigation towards GBV.
Wau peer educators took up the role to engage local youth and traditional leaders to end sexual violence and harmful cultural practices among the Wau communities after, they attended GBV training to enhance youth engagement in GBV prevention campaigns in their various communities. 500 youth, including traditional leaders, from five locations around Wau (Masna, Lokoloko, Eastern Bank, Jebel Khier and Alel Chok), turned up for the awareness session.
The session empowered the youth to resist gender-based violence and become agents of change within their communities. The awareness session also promoted the development of attitudes of self-respect and self-value among the youth. The youth also had the opportunity to discuss the consequences of GBV and harmful practices in the community such as rape, early/forced marriages and the importance of girl child education.
SIHA is positive that these awareness sessions are a crucial aspect of the movement-building aspect of striving for gender equality and most importantly shifting the mindset and behavior of the youth and traditional leaders.