3 March, 2017, Hiroshima, Japan – 30 young South Sudanese professionals took part in a UNITAR workshop in Hiroshima last month, as a continuation of the UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme: Entrepreneurship and Leadership Youth Training, a six-month specialized capacity-building training programme for select junior to mid-career level professionals. Focusing on project development and implementation, this year’s Fellowship trained 30 South Sudanese Fellows and Coaches, including 13 women, from the public sector, private sector, academic institutions, and civil society organizations.
Workshop II was held in Hiroshima and Tokyo, Japan between 12 – 17 February, and linked the needs assessment, which Fellows completed following Workshop I, with project planning and implementation training. In the week leading up to the workshop, UNITAR conducted an online training session on developing problem statements, and H.E. Kiya Masahiko, Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan, addressed the group in Juba.
On their first day in Hiroshima, Fellows and Coaches visited the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Fellows said they were struck by the beauty of present-day Hiroshima, which recovered in a relatively short period of time from the tragedy of the world’s first atomic bombing.
Over the course of the workshop, Fellows used the Results Chain, which allowed Fellows to see both the societal impact of a project, as well as the practical steps necessary to carry out a project. Fellows worked together to refine their problem statements and develop impact statements, which describe why a given project proposal is vital to an organization and community. Other lessons included an overview of the Business Model Canvas, which Fellows can use as an alternative tool in developing their projects, and a history lesson on Japan’s post-war recovery.
During their last day in Japan, the group travelled to Tokyo to call on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose generous support makes this programme possible.
Joshua Franco Paul of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan said, “Capacity building is one of the key elements to implementing the peace agreement signed in August 2016. I am confident that the Fellows, with the knowledge and skills gained from UNITAR and their experience in Japan, will transform South Sudan’s institutions and greatly improve the delivery of services to all in the Republic of South Sudan.”
Therezine Filbert Eugenio Sangu, Acting Director General for Human Resource Development of South Sudan’s Ministry of Labour, Public Service, and Human Resource Development stated, “The Fellows who have graduated from UNITAR’s South Sudan Fellowship Programme in 2015 are already performing at higher levels. I am optimistic that governmental and other institutions in South Sudan will experience a positive impact from this Fellowship program.”
UNITAR Hiroshima Office Head Mihoko Kumamoto remarked, “South Sudan continues to face severe challenges. Our training programme aims to build the future leaders of South Sudan. The Fellows, both men and women, are young professionals and come from diverse backgrounds. They have a common dream, which is to build a peaceful country that respects people and the environment and gives hope. The Fellows learned a set of skills critical to providing basic services. They also learned one model of reconstruction from Hiroshima. It is an honour to support these young professionals to realize their dream."
Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan, Kiya Masahiko, expressed: "Japanese people remember how Hiroshima was restored by the united efforts of survivors of the disastrous war 72 years ago. The Fellows, who were selected from frontrunners in South Sudan's reconstruction and development scenes, were inspired by their experience in and visits to Hiroshima and Japan at large. I strongly wish that the Fellows, with their renewed passion, will greatly contribute to South Sudan's peace and prosperity."
Sameul Ngor Ali Malou, a Fellow who participated in Workshop II, commented: “Japan and South Sudan have been good friends for many years and this relationship is further strengthened by the deployment of Japanese engineers and medical personnel to South Sudan for Peacekeeping Missions, helping in reconstruction projects, which include roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure. On the same token, I am a Senior Inspector for the Ministry of Roads and Bridges, and have been given such a special opportunity to receive training through the UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme as a means of contributing to the human resources development of our new nation of South Sudan. During the 6-month-long training, we have been equipped with the necessary knowledge and technical skills to support the country in various fields. Through traveling to Hiroshima for further training, we have enjoyed Japanese food, traditions and culture, and its natural beauty during our stay in Japan. These experiences and skills we have gained will inevitably have direct positive impacts in the development of our country.”
About the Programme
The UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme was developed by UNITAR, with funding support from the Government of Japan, and with institutional support from the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, to cultivate the social entrepreneurship and project-development knowledge, skills, and attitudes of selected South Sudanese professionals. The Fellowship features a blended learning methodology and includes asynchronous and online training, coupled with two international workshops. Each workshop is linked by participant-led projects examining challenges and opportunities as they exist in South Sudan today. Workshop I was held in Sharjah, UAE, from 18 – 20 October, 2016.
South Sudan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is the political focal point for the Programme and the Ministry of Labour, Public Service, and Human Resource Development is the operational focal point.
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a principal training arm of the United Nations, working in every region of the world. It empowers individuals, governments and organizations through knowledge and learning to effectively overcome contemporary global challenges.
The UNITAR Hiroshima Office, mandated to promote post-conflict reconstruction and international peace, has long engaged in designing and conducting training for people from post-conflict countries, such as Afghanistan and Iraq, and commands a unique understanding of the needs of such trainees as they work toward peace.