Africa-Press – South-Sudan. EVE Women Empowerment Organization has donated 16 mattresses and eight double beds to the Ministry of Gender and Social Welfare in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria State to support the safe house in Kapoeta town.
The safe house was constructed last year by the UNMISS quick impact project to provide protection to survivors of sexual- and gender-based violence in the region.
Speaking to the media during the handover, the Head of Program at EVE organization Mr Peter Lemi said the support is the beginning of the partnership and a token of goodwill to support response to GBV circumstances in the state.
“This donation that we have given to the ministry of gender is a small token that we want to do in the fight for gender equality, women’s protection and welfare. EVE organization from the moment it was established on 13th August 2005 in Khartoum strives to improve the situations and welfare for women and girls across the country,” Lemi said.
“We work in six states out of the 10 in South Sudan, in these states we endeavour to improve the protection of women and girls so this little support that we are giving the 8 double-deck beds with 16 mattresses aims at providing some support to the safe house where the survivors of GBV seek shelter and so we are in the forefront of this fight and we want to work together with the ministry of gender and the government of Eastern Equatoria so that we improve the situation for women and girls,” he added.
Eastern Equatoria State Minister for Gender and Social Welfare Jennifer Nabongorika Edward confirmed receiving the goodwill gesture. The minister reiterated the need for the establishment of more safe houses to support GBV survivors in the state given the fact that the country is still lagging behind due to bad cultural practices that continue to put women and girls in the most unfavourable conditions.
“When we talk of Greater Kapoeta that is the source of all the cases in Eastern Equatoria, early and force marriages that is the source if you go even now you will get in police already with no doubt. Domestic violence is the one existing here (Torit) and other parts of Eastern Eqautroai State which means that safe house is not enough we need more safe houses, especially in those counties which practice those harmful practices,” Nabongorika stated.
“Also, the cases of blood girl child compensation that one also is existing still but the government is fighting against it which is not really so much like those years. Our people are still behind but we need to talk to them and that is the responsibility of the government and the ministry of gender to create awareness,” she said.
Meanwhile, Davidika Ikai Grasiano, the Acting Chairlady for Women Association in Eastern Equatoria State believes the support given will help lessen the trauma of the GBV survivors.
The women leader revealed that the women-led organization has rescued over eight girls from blood compensation. But she still fears girl child compensation remains underground at its highest peak in Torit County. Grasiano urged South Sudanese to abandon harmful traditions to save the lives of women.