IOM Cash Based Intervention project supports returnees become self-reliant

My name is Henry Guda Uvo, a resident of Hai Jebel Khier in Wau, South Sudan. I am 48-years-old, and I have two children. When I was 12-years-old, my right leg became paralyzed after a penicillin injection.

In July 2016, fighting broke out in Wau forcing my family and I to flee to Bagari, a village approximately 30 km away from Wau town. Although my family is from Bagari, I was born and raised in Wau and had never been to Bagari.

I was not prepared for this journey.

When we arrived in Bagari, we did not know anybody. Everything was new.

Given my unfamiliarity with the community and because of my physical disability, I found it very difficult to look after my family in this new environment.  We had no home, no garden where we could grow food. My children became sick after the two-day journey on foot. Without a hospital in the area, we relied on herbal medicine which, by God’s grace, cured them.

In Wau, I had a small business making and selling cooking spoons I made from sticks collected in the forest. However, in Bagari, I did not know anybody who could help me collect the sticks. My disability prevented me from gathering these materials myself. In Wau I was able to rely on people to bring me the materials, but things were different in Bagari.

My family and I stayed in Bagari for two years, but life continued to deteriorate. After the signing of the Peace Agreement in September 2018, I decided to take my family back to Wau.

When we returned to Wau, I was able to restart my business.
Not long after our return, some people came to my house and registered my family members. They said they came from IOM - the International Organization for Migration - and they were registering families to receive humanitarian assistance. In September 2019, everyone that was registered was provided a small cash grant.

This was the happiest day of my life. The money came right at the time when my children were going to be dismissed from school because I had not paid their school fees for two terms. I used some of the money to pay the overdue school fees and bought food with the rest. For the first time in a very long time, I saw happiness in my family’s eyes.

God blessed me with these children. I will do all I can to make sure they have a good future. It is only my leg that is paralyzed, not my whole body, therefore I can still use my mind to think and my hands to work.”

Following the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) in September 2018, displaced people are returning to their homes to rebuild their lives.

The International Organization for Migration in South Sudan is assisting the voluntary return of families in different parts of the country including Wau. The UN agency for migration launched the Cash Based Interventions project with support from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). The project has reached more than 28,970 people - mainly women, children and persons with disabilities - with multi-purpose cash assistance, enabling families to meet their basic household needs and become more self-reliant.

This story was written by Nabie Loyce -Media and Communications Assistant, IOM.



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