Southern Sudan: Two year process to develop handbooks launched
19 February 2010

To keep girls in school is one of JRS's areas of concern in Southern Sudan. (Angela Hellmuth/JRS)
"The 90-page handbooks are meant to help JRS staff carry out their work in peace education, functional adult literacy and affirmative action more effectively."

Juba, 19 February 2010 – A process to develop handbooks for various JRS programmes has recently started with a workshop in Juba, Southern Sudan.

From 15 – 19 February, 2010 twelve heads of departments from five JRS projects in Southern Sudan and Uganda gathered for five days to learn techniques and writing skills that are necessary to write the handbooks.

As a first step in what will ultimately be a two year process, participants were assigned topics related to their respective area of responsibility in order to develop the structure and drafts of the first chapters and conduct the necessary research.

Rose Kasara coordinates the affirmative action programme in Yei that seeks to increase girls’ access to education. She was assigned the topic sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). ”This means during the next two years I will have to look at the concept and types as well as causes, effects, consequences and the prevention of SGBV. This is important because girls and women here in Southern Sudan are often confronted with domestic violence, rape, forced and early marriage or other harmful cultural practices,” she said.

The 90-page handbooks are meant to help JRS staff carry out their work in peace education, functional adult literacy and affirmative action more effectively. They will help harmonise training programmes in these areas and will also be available for other professionals.

The workshop forms part of a series of meetings that will be held throughout two years. “We have started early to make sure that the handbooks will be ready by December 2011,” said JRS Southern Sudan Education Officer, Francis Biryaho who organised and facilitated the workshop.

On the first day of the training, Dr Biryaho and two consultants gave an overview of peace education, adult literacy and affirmative action and provided advice and guidance. On the following days, participants were instructed in how to collect and handle information from different sources and how to use and write footnotes, quotations and bibliographies among others. There was also ample time to share experiences, to decide which methodology to use and to hold group discussions on the respective topics.

At the end of the workshop, the groups presented first drafts of different sections that were sent to the project directors for feedback.

Participants will reconvene in October this year to put all chapters together and produce the first drafts of the handbooks. Then the handbooks will be tested in the field for a couple of months. “Once we’ve made necessary changes we hope to hand them over to the editors in November 2011,” said Dr Biryaho.

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Angelika Mendes
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