USAID hands over newly constructed Wau Civic Engagement Centre

USAID hands over newly constructed Wau Civic Engagement Centre
USAID hands over newly constructed Wau Civic Engagement Centre

Africa-Press – South-Sudan. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Thursday officially handed over the newly constructed Wau Civic Engagement Centre to the local community in the presence of Western Equatoria State government officials.

The facility which was built by USAID’s Shejeh Salam program was inaugurated by Governor Sarah Cleto Rial during a function attended by state government officials, the Shejeh Salam chief of party, UNMISS representatives, and regional coordinators of different organizations among others.

The center which has training halls and a library offers free internet for research and will be used by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), learning institutions, associations, unions, academia, and the local community.

Speaking during the ceremony, the Chief of Party of USAID’s Shejeh Salam Program, Mare Eiston, said that USAID gained interest in supporting the construction and furnish the center to ensure that community members have access to information through the provision of internet to provide civic education and raise awareness.

“The centre space and conducive environment is for people and talk openly and freely about topics that matter to their community and safety, peace, and respect,” he said. “There are several services here at the civic engagement center and they will help individuals. Access to information is so important. It is very hard to access the internet but the center is here to solve these challenges.”

Governor Sarah Cleto Rial congratulated all the CSOs for having been granted support by USAID through Shejeh Salam which constructed the center.

“As we prepare for the upcoming elections, we are going to use this center to sensitize the community. We are working on the implementation of the peace agreement and preparing for the upcoming elections so we are going to need this center to raise awareness about the upcoming elections,” she said. “I want to encourage everyone, men, women, youth, and children, big and small to use this center. I encourage the young generation to benefit from this center and get an education not just go online for social media.”

Meanwhile, Almas Gabriel, a University of Bahr el Ghazal student who befitted from the old center in the Hai Mutamatdia suburb, said the center helped him a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic when the university was conducting online classes.

“I am one of those who benefited from the services of the center. A lot but people still do not know about the available services at the center,” he stated. “In 2019 during the outbreak of Covid-19, we had to resort to online learning and the civic engagement centre helped us. We are thankful for the support from USAID and the state government for establishing a permanent center.”

Gabriel urged students engaged in research projects to visit the civic engagement center.

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