UNESCO and FAO Trains Pastoralist Livelihood and Education Field School (PLEFS) Community facilitators and supervisors in Rumbek, South Sudan
UNESCO and FAO in partnership with the implementing partners and the three-government line-ministries (General Education and Instructions, Agriculture and Food Security and Livestock and Fisheries) conducted a two-week capacity building training for 63 Pastoralist Livelihood and Education Field School teachers/facilitators and 36 County supervisors and State technical working group members from 14 to 27 October 2021 in Rumbek, Lakes State, South Sudan.
The capacity building training aimed at increasing the community facilitators’/teachers understanding and knowledge of the integrated Pastoralist Livelihood and Education Field School (PLEFS) approach and methodologies, as well as the curriculum and basic implementation steps in carrying out effective literacy, numeracy and life skills training sessions for the children, youth and adults at the cattle camps. UNESCO is partnering with FAO to implement the literacy, numeracy and life skills component of the project to enhance the acquisition of skills, strategies and education essentials for resilient pastoral livelihood by target communities.
Speaking at the closing of the training, Mr. Julius Banda, UNESCO South Sudan Head of Office and Country Representative appreciated the dedication and commitment of the community facilitators/teachers and County supervisors for the successful implementation of the PLEFS outreach approach that has currently recorded the mobilization and enrolment of nearly 4,249 out of schools children, youth and adults learners in learning groups at the cattle camps. Mr. Julius Banda further asserted that the PLEFS approach is UNESCO flagship project and is one of the best templates to promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Education 2030 Agenda that seeks ways to bring learning opportunities closer to where children are in order to “leave no one behind”. He pointed out that the children in the cattle camps have been long marginalized and deprived of education opportunities, therefore, the PLEFS project approach should be expanded to become a viable program to be replicated in other areas and regions.
On his part Mr. Jasper Okodi, the FAO Head of Field Office in Rumbek as well as PLEFS project manager congratulated the participants, the European Union and the Government of South Sudan and asserted that the challenges resulting to lack of basic services to the marginalized pastoralist communities in Lakes State, South Sudan could only be successfully approached from an integrated approach, that is why PLEFS project is one of the most important projects to FAO. Furthermore, he thanked UNESCO for supporting the literacy, numeracy and life skills component of the project. He appealed to the Honourable Minister of the State Ministry of General Education to consider the community facilitators as great resource that could be absorbed into the Ministry’s payroll to help them continue supporting the program for its sustainability.
Speaking at the occasion Hon. Kongor Deng Kongor, the guest of honour at the event, and State Minister of General Education and Instructions, of Lakes State, appreciated the European Union and the partners (FAO and UNESCO) and acknowledged that PLEFS project is indeed a great initiative for which the State Ministry of Education is grateful. Hon. Deng encouraged the community facilitators and county supervisors to ensure their work yields amazing results and leave a legacy to assure that the investment made on them will strengthen their capacity for mastery of the art of delivery of quality learning services to the pastoralist communities. Furthermore, He appealed to the participants to ensure they utilize the PLEFS project approach as a peace agent to promote peacebuilding and social cohesion because the cattle camps are often the flash points for conflicts.
The capacity building training for the community facilitators/teachers and supervisors under the Global Network Against Food Crises Partnership Programme: Country Investment South Sudan – Resilient pastoral livelihoods and education project funded by the European Union; contributes to the overall objective through a two-tier approach of improving the livelihood security of pastoral households while enhancing institutional capacity and community level empowerment to mitigate and prevent shocks and deliver integrated pastoral services. The overarching objective of the project contributes to “enhanced food and nutrition security, and livelihood resilience of pastoral communities in South Sudan”.