Translate page with Google

Story Publication logo November 5, 2010

Local Initiative Builds Peace in Southern Sudan

Country:

Author:
Media file: Sudan2.jpg
English

"Sudan in Transition” brings in-depth coverage of the cultural, political, economic and legal...

author #1 image author #2 image
Multiple Authors
SECTIONS
Media file: Sudan_Referendum_NGO.jpg
Lony Ruot, founder of Standard Action Liaison Focus (SALF). Image by Rebecca Hamilton. Sudan, 2010.

There are a lot of internationals working hard in Juba and their efforts are easy enough to learn about from outside of Sudan. They have websites, media relations people and so on. Harder to see from the outside are the significant -- and still growing -- number of community-based organizations formed and run by Sudanese themselves. I've spent some time with three such organizations recently and thought I'd start by highlighting the work of one of them.

During the war Lony Ruot, now 43, was a second lieutenant in the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA). But he always had an affinity with young people and throughout the war years he worked voluntarily as a teacher. Without the benefit of textbooks or classrooms, he did what he could to teach youngsters who gathered under the tree to try and learn.

When peace negotiations gained momentum Ruot left the army and went to Kenya to try and build his own education. And in 2000 he founded an organization called Standard Action Liaison Focus (SALF). Having observed the militarization of Sudanese youth, he wanted to work to get young people engaged with peace efforts.

"I was seeing that our communities had become divided; for us to be strong there was a need for a common purpose of peace" said Ruot. "If the youth unite, it will help the leaders unite" he added, explaining why his organization focused on young people.

For the first four years, SALF had no funding source. But that didn't stop them from traveling out from Juba to hold workshops with youth about the peace efforts. Today, with the support of some funding through a USAID project, SALF employs 13 local people and relies on the support of a further 27 volunteers. Ruot says his greatest success has come from seeing youth voluntarily turn over their weapons and join peace committees in their local areas. "Southerners want to see their dreams (of peace) realized and young people can lead the way."

RELATED ISSUES

Governance

Issue

Governance

Governance
Religion

Issue

Religion

Religion
Conflict and Peace Building

Issue

Conflict and Peace Building

Conflict and Peace Building

Support our work

Your support ensures great journalism and education on underreported and systemic global issues