As South Sudan continues to emerge from recent years of political and ethnic violence, it remains beleaguered by weak institutions, a damaged economy, re-emerging communal violence, and civil society and media actors who are insufficiently trained to support the transition to long-term peace and stability. A range of interventions are needed to build on USAID’s successes in recent years and ensure key actors and communities receive critical resources and support to assist in the transition to peace.
Shejeh Salam (previously known as PCEP) uses small grant and rapid response activities to provide critical and urgent resources and support to a range of South Sudanese local actors impacted by the country’s decades of conflict. This support helps local actors to advocate for peaceful solutions and advance communal dialogue within and among fractured communities. Shejeh Salam does this through trauma-informed activities that advance peacebuilding, strengthen civil society capacity, and support independent media while intentionally integrating gender, youth, and other socially marginalized communities into activities. Shejeh Salam’s activities are initially focused in South Sudan’s States of Western Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, Upper Nile, Jonglei, Eastern Equatoria, and Central Equatoria.
Shejeh Salam’s interventions address USAID’s priorities in South Sudan through layered and strategically complementary activities in order to:
- Build cross-communal interdependence and intra-community cohesion to promote peace processes and peaceful co-existence.
- Support civil society actors to advocate for peace and reconciliation, and to participate more fully in civic processes.
- Provide trauma awareness services to key partners in program communities.
- Build capacity of print, radio, and other media to provide accurate, fair, and thorough information to help mitigate the destructive impact of rumor and misinformation.
Shejeh Salam’s activities uses a range of interventions to best meet the immediate needs, partner capacity, implementation timeline, and community expectations. Support mechanisms include direct delivery of goods and services, technical assistance, in-kind grants, and cash grants. Shejeh Salam also uses a rapid response mechanism to immediately respond to urgent developments between communities that necessitate immediate interjection to negotiate a peaceful solution.
OUR GOALS AND RESULTS
By the conclusion of the program, Shejeh Salam activities aim to support a South Sudan where:
- Local actors have improved capacity to promote peace and peaceful co-existence between groups previously at conflict with one another and have increased mutual interdependence as a result of shared infrastructure and livelihoods projects.
- Civil society, faith-based organizations, individuals, and other invested local groups are able to work together for effective peacebuilding, civic education, and reconciliation activities that resonate socially and culturally.
- Citizen actors meaningfully participate in processes supporting transitional justice and informal peacebuilding efforts.
- Local partners and stakeholders more readily recognize signs of trauma and distress and can engage citizens with increased sensitivity.
- Community members can access independent media outlets to participate in peaceful and purposeful debate with enhanced tools and training to more readily resist misinformation, disinformation, and hate speech.
Photo credit: William Nyuon