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During her opening remark on behalf of SSOW Care Foundation, Maria Nyagai said the civic education dialogue is to encourage the refugees and the host community to find solutions to their local issues at the community level amicably while the key note speaker Mr. Jospeh Lemin who is also the camp chairman said conflict between tribes has been witnessed in the settlement in the past few months stressing that the community has a bigger role to play and prevent conflict once it’s appropriately engaged from the root causes of violence. He further said the community leaders are the eyes of their people stating that if peaceful co-existence is only possible if community leaders deviate away from leading using ethnical lenses. He warned against tribalism reiterating that “it stops us from helping each other to even find sustainable solutions to the smallest problem we face”.
While on the penal discussion, Mr. Onyango Peter and Mr. Kel Tap, the youth representatives said for the community to get involved in solving disputes amicably, we must invest in intelligence to find solutions to the conflict stressing that it is very imperative to train the Youth and community leaders on emotional intelligence and self-awareness. This will equip them with knowledge to analyze, understand the social perception of the society and develop sound solutions to mitigate the conflict saying that the youth must develop South Sudan but not to destroy it adds Mr. Kel Tap.
In addition to that, Avoko Lucy who represented the women in penal said without women we cannot maintain peace because it’s a right of a woman to direct her children to avoid violence at home. This is even most important in the context of the refugees in the settlement she emphasizes that parents must take good care of their families provide all the basic needs of a child to prevent stealing that may lead to violence.
In her remarks, Martha Nyawura, an elder said “when you live in a community, learn to accept defeat and accepting it does not mean you are a coward”. He further commented that “if you are a troublesome person your children will inherit that trait from you. If you pick a panga to slay someone first try it on yourself when you feel pain that person has the same feelings like yours build peace not war”
Furthermore, Mr. Samuel Sebit Emmanuel during his closing remarks as the NoSSCOU’ representative said building peace at the community level is paramount because when you are united, your voices can easily be heard than in a conflict status. “As refugees, it’s important to embrace peace because it’s the reason we are seeking asylum we would be in South Sudan by now and living happily if there was peace so we must help one another” Sebit emphasized.
The event was colorful and wrapped up with cultural performance from the Otuho, Acholi communities and musicians such as Kai Wan and Ronny Riddimz who also entertained the crowd. It brought together over 200 participants including Youth, community, religious leaders, OPM staff, teachers, entertainers.