South Sudan: Promoting self-reliance among women
13 September 2011

A South Sudanese woman is selling bread. Bread baking is a profitable business and it helps women to earn their own income. (Angela Hellmuth/JRS)
"This will enable these women to earn their own income which they can use to improve their lives and the lives of their families."
Nimule, 13 September 2011 – Sixty women in three Payams of Magwi County, South Sudan, now have an independent source of income baking bread, after JRS constructed three ovens for them. 

"Bread making is a profitable venture in this area," said JRS Assistant Project Director in Nimule, Alex Kiptanui. "It will enable these women to earn their own income which they can use to improve their lives and the lives of their families," he added. 

The ovens are located in the three sub-counties Nimule, Mugali and Pageri. Operating them is simple and only requires basic training. So far, 60 women have been trained. The training also included 20 men who are members of the women groups because they help with certain decisions which, according to the rules of the community, require their participation. 

"If we buy a packet of wheat flour in the market we pay USD 2," explains Agnes Angua Mark, chair person of the Ama Alu women’s group in Mugali sub-county. "But if we bake bread using the flour contained in one packet, we earn USD 8," she adds. 

Even after subtracting the cost of firewood, cooking oil, salt and yeast, the women still make a profit of USD 6. Besides, the ovens can be hired for a small fee by other members of the community, or be used to smoke fresh fish which is locally available in this part of South Sudan, thus generating additional income for the women’s groups. 

Promoting self-reliance

"This is wonderful," said 45-year-old Natalina Mude, chair person of the Pageri women’s group during a training session. "We are so grateful for the oven. Now we can earn money which will enable our children to continue their studies, eat good food and buy medicine," she explained. Eventually, it is not only the women and their families, but the entire community who will benefit. 

Since 2010, JRS has promoted various income generating activities among communities in the three sub-counties, such as distributing cash boxes and stationeries to women’s groups in order to promote a saving culture among them. These activities have build confidence and self-reliance among community members who previously worried about a lack of support once JRS will leave South Sudan in 2012.

JRS has been present in Nimule since 1997, supporting local communities through education, peace-building activities, pastoral care and gender empowerment programmes, thus reaching out to more than 18,000 people.

Press Contact Information
Angelika Mendes
+254 20 3874152