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Over coming barriers by empowering persons living with disabilities

People in Bentiu are not only navigating the complexities of historical conflicts but also grappling with the transformative impact of recurrent flooding, which has ushered in a new set of challenges. Despite these formidable hurdles, individuals in Bentiu are tenaciously adapting to their altered circumstances.

Posted on 03 Dec 2023

Yet, for those living with intellectual, emotional, or physical disabilities, the journey becomes distinctly more challenging, though not impossible.

These individuals face additional layers of difficulty as they strive to carve out a life amid the ongoing transitions and uncertainties. The intersectionality of disability and the unique set of barriers it poses can intensify the struggle for inclusion and equal participation in the community's recovery and adaptation efforts.

Persons with physical disabilities in Bentiu face obstacles on a daily basis. The lack of accessible infrastructure compounds their difficulties, hindering their mobility and participation in daily life. Public spaces and transportation remain largely inaccessible, posing substantial challenges. 

The consequences of these barriers can be profound, leading to lower self-esteem, diminished independence, and limited opportunities for personal growth.

To ensure their inclusion and well-being, DRC is empowering individuals living with disabilities through inclusion in all areas of intervention. 

In the town of Bentiu, Puok Chiek Chiek, a resilient 35-year-old male living with a disability, is a great example of the transformative power of inclusion.

With support from DRC through the USAID-funded project Complimentary Action for Resilience Building (CARB), Puok embarked on a journey of growth and opportunity.

His destination? The DRC's Farmer Field School, an initiative designed to nurture agricultural skills and instill a sense of purpose within displaced individuals and host communities in Bentiu regardless of their physical inabilities. 

Through the Farmer Field School, Puok didn't just acquire knowledge and skills; he unearthed his potential to be a positive force in his community.

With determination, he, alongside a group of 50 like-minded individuals, tilled the soil of a 2.5-acre plot. They continue to cultivate a rich diversity of crops seasonally, from succulent tomatoes and eggplants to hearty cassava and sweet potatoes, among others.

Their collective efforts not only provide sustenance for their families but also inject vitality into the local economy. 

The Farmer Field School represents more than just agricultural education. It symbolizes a platform for empowerment, unity, and the breaking down of barriers.

For Puok, it became a source of inspiration, a realm where his disability did not hinder his capacity to make a meaningful impact in his community.

His journey embodies the resilience and potential within every individual, reminding us that with the right support and opportunities, anyone can overcome adversity and contribute positively to society. 

Empowering disabled individuals is of paramount importance. By addressing barriers that affect their well-being, we can create an inclusive society valuing the rights of all members.

We share the responsibility of ensuring that disabled individuals in Bentiu and beyond can thrive, contribute, and lead fulfilling lives.

Through employment opportunities and enhanced accessibility, we can break down these barriers and build a more equitable society where everyone can reach their full potential. 

Complimentary Action for Resilience Building (CARB)

The Complimentary Action for Resilience Building (CARB) project is funded by USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA).

This project is currently implemented in South Sudan through a consortium with Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) as the led partner. Alongside NRC, other partners in the consortium include International Rescue Committee (IRC), ACTED, REACH and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC).

The DRC is responsible for implementing the project in specific target areas within South Sudan. These include Unity state, specifically Rubkona and Guit counties, as well as WBEG state, which encompasses Wau and Jur River counties. These locations have been identified as priority areas for intervention by DRC.

The primary objective of this project is to address the pressing issue of food and nutrition security for communities that have been severely affected by conflict and are considered vulnerable.

The ultimate goal is to enhance the resilience of these communities, enabling them to better cope with and overcome future shocks and challenges.

Through the provision of support and the implementation of strategic measures, the project aims to ensure that these communities are equipped with the necessary tools to effectively handle any adversities they may encounter in the future.

With Support from

United States Agency for International Development
United States Agency for International Development
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