S.Sudanese wave flags after independence [file]_390.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
A group of Israeli experts is traveling to South Sudan on Thursday to conduct the first gender-based violence training program for social workers in the world’s newest nation.
The Israeli delegation is part of IsraAID, the Israel-based international aid agency, with the support a private family foundation and the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and in cooperation with FIRST and the Israel-based NGO Operation Blessing Israel.
During the workshop, 30 South Sudanese social workers – who will be spread around Central Equatoria state (Juba region) – will receive intensive training on the delivery of social work, gender-based violence and post-trauma assistance by three highly-skilled and experienced Israeli therapists.
The South Sudanese social workers who will participate in the program work with the most vulnerable communities in Juba – especially women and girls who are victims (or at risk) of sexual abuse and other forms of gender-based violence.
IsraAID’s team will train the entire staff of the leading local NGO Confident Children out of Conflict, as well as the newly hired social workers of the Ministry of Social Development of Central Equatoria state. The objective is to enable the local social workers to develop a solid understanding of gender-based violence and acquire the skills they need to address the numerous cases of sexual abuse and genderbased violence in Juba.
The organization Confident Children out of Conflict provides a safe house for abused or atrisk girls who come from the slums of Juba. The program enables the girls to receive three meals a day and access to counseling. The center provides protection from sexual predators and allows the girls to attend school.
The training workshop will enable the CCC staff to acquire the skills necessary to help more than 400 kids – especially girls – at risk.
“There exists a significant gap between, on the one hand, the needs caused by the high number of women and girls’ abuses in Juba and, on the other hand, the lack of personnel – both at the governmental and NGO levels – who possess the psycho-social skills to address GBV [genderbased violence] cases and provide the victims with the necessary support,” said Shachar Zahavi, executive director of IsraAID.
“There is a clear need for capacity-building and guidance on GBV, post-trauma assistance and psycho-social services for social workers and community leaders,” he said.