IOM Hands Over MHPSS Activities in Bor PoC Site to ALARM
Juba - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in South Sudan officially handed over its Psychosocial Support activities in Bor Protection of Civilians (PoC) site to a national partner, the African Leadership and Reconciliation Ministries (ALARM).
The ceremony took place at the Psychosocial Center in Bor PoC site on 15 August 2017, with the beneficiaries, community leaders and members, head of UN Police, and head of UNMISS Relief, Reintegration, and Protection (RRP) participation. Senior leadership from Danish Church Aid (DCA), a long-time supporter of ALARM in South Sudan, attended the event, and ALARM Programme Coordinator Juma Mabor officially received the handover from IOM.
Since early 2014, IOM has provided direct mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services at the PoC site, with the overall goal of responding to the impact of the armed conflict that broke out in December 2013 and forced millions from their homes. A pilot MHPSS project kicked off in Bor in 2014 with a needs assessment.
Over the course of three years, the programme covered capacity building for humanitarian actors; recreational and cultural initiatives for children, youth and adults; vocational trainings for groups with specific needs; activation and facilitation of peer-support groups; provision of lay counselling; conflict mediation and peacebuilding.
“The relationship between IOM and ALARM has been constructive for several years in Bor, especially within the conflict mediation, reconciliation and peacebuilding programme where the two organizations worked hand in hand toward the same goal of peaceful coexistence of multiple communities in Jonglei State,” Mabor remarks.
“We thank IOM for a job well done is supporting the people in the PoC, and we likewise look forward to a productive relationship with ALARM. We at UNMISS RRP are committed to provide the support needed by ALARM and the community,” adds Jacqueline Okello, head of for RRP in Bor.
Mary Nyareath, one of the women beneficiaries, shares further, “We’re very happy to welcome ALARM but sad at the same time to see IOM go. IOM has contributed a lot to our condition here in the PoC. We have a women’s cooperative now called Umbrella. We decided to form this group after completing a vocational skills training program organized by IOM. Every day, we bake bread and sell it to the community.”
“I thank the whole Bor PoC community for the strong support and genuine engagement granted to IOM during all these years of passionate joint psychosocial work in the PoC, and I wish ALARM all the best for this new programmatic endeavor,” says Andrea Paiato, IOM MHPSS Program Manager.
IOM will provide technical support in the form of refresher training sessions, provision of technical tools and remote advising to ALARM until the end of the year.