Empowering vulnerable youth and women in fragile situation to foster community Resilience and cohesion through peaceful co-existence and promotion of livelihoods initiatives

The goal of the project is to foster conditions for peace and promote community resilience in the Equatorias region of South Sudan through a combination of activities aiming at (1) building and supporting a workforce of peacemakers, (2) providing trainings in conflict resolution, (3) fostering social cohesion and conflict prevention through locally held community dialogues, (4) promoting entrepreneurship and sustainable livelihoods, notably by supporting women- and youth-led small income generating businesses, and (5) promoting sports as a platform for fostering peace and social cohesion among the youth. This intervention is coherent with the humanitarian, peace and development nexus (triple nexus) and contributes to durable solutions for IDPs and returnees. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
South Sudan
Promoting economic growth and improving working conditions
01.01.2023 - 31.12.2025
CHF  800’000
Background Despite the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict (R-ARCSS) in late 2018, across South Sudan, violence remains prevalent in many areas, posing serious security threats to civilians, threatening the durability of peace, and contributing to continued fragmentation of communities and persistent humanitarian crisis seen in South Sudan (SSD). As sub-national violence persists in most locations, women, children, and the youth are the most affected. With more than 70% of the SSD population composed of youth1 , a major challenge for South Sudan is addressing their needs and aspirations to prevent them from entering cycles of despair and cyclical violence, as livelihood opportunities and employment remain limited. In a fragile context like SSD, Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative’s (WPDI) work in addressing the youth’s needs is vital in preventing conflict at the grassroots level and creating livelihood opportunities for the youth and women to build stability and resilience for the targeted population. 
Objectives Within the principle of the triple nexus (Humanitarian, peace and development), the overall goal of the project is to improve the conditions for promoting peace, livelihoods and resilience by creating opportunities to improve skills, capacities to resolve conflict through dialogue and building small scale businesses, including in agriculture, for youth and women in the Equatoria region.
Target groups
  • Pupils, students and young men and women, teachers from the payams3 of CES, WES and EES. 
  • Communities in the Equatorias as a whole. 

It must be noted that WPDI operates along a training of trainer’s model, which allows beneficiaries to participate in the implementation of the objectives. 

Medium-term outcomes
  • Improve social cohesion in schools by mobilizing and training students and teachers to acquire conflict resolution skills.
  •  Improve the capacity of communities to exchange, mediate and resolve conflict through dialogue to promote peace and prevent conflict. Create opportunities for women to voice their concerns and demonstrate their leadership capacity.
  • Improve alternative livelihood skills for youth and women in conflict resolution, ICT, entrepreneurship, arts and craft. 
  • Create opportunities for women and youth entrepreneurs to start small income-generating businesses as alternative livelihood.
  • Promote social cohesion through sport for peace to cultivate a sense of reconciliation and unity for peace. Provide opportunities for women to practice activities outside their homes.
  •  Address emergency needs by using crisis modifier resources. 

Expected results:  

  1. Improve social cohesion in 115 schools through a training program in conflict resolution to 8,625 students and 575 teachers, and reach 17,530 people with advocacy campaigns. 
  2. Promote peace and reconciliation at the local level through 32 Youth-led Community Dialogues and Trainings of Community Leaders. 
  3. Disseminate peace-building and vocational skills and raise awareness on Peace and Human Rights through a network of 8 Community Learning Centres
  4. Promote entrepreneurship and sustainable livelihoods by supporting 72 new businesses for the youth and women in Western Equatoria State (WES), Central Equatoria State (CES) and Eastern Equatoria State (EES).
  5. Promote social cohesion through sport for peace targeting 88 youths distributed into 4 teams. 
  6. Respond to emergencies when they occur.

Results from previous phases:  

Switzerland’s previous engagement2 with WPDI attains the following results:

  • 4,468 students were trained through cohorts of trained youth peace ambassadors in 55 schools.
  • 6,780 community members were reached with conflict resolution awareness and actions creating positive impacts in improving social cohesion among students, teachers and surrounding communities.
  • With a view to promoting peace at the grassroots level, WPDI implemented 30 community dialogues after training 405 community leaders. This dialogue defused conflict and sort out dispute among feuding communities in the Equatorias.
  • To create alternative livelihoods for the youth, WPDI supported 53 small scale businesses for the youth, a majority of them in the agricultural sector, which contributed to income opportunities for the targeted youth and addresses the issue of food insecurity prevalent across the country.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Foreign state institution
  • National State Institute North
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI) UNESCO compound, South-West of UNMISS Tongping, Juba, South Sudan

Coordination with other projects and actors The project has linkages and coordinates with CARITAS Switzerland and CARE, both funded by SDC, as well as other partners. WPDI also works closely with the government as counterparts.
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    800’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    453’100
Project phases Phase 1 01.01.2023 - 31.12.2025   (Current phase)