“We suffer from a dearth of health facilities, especially for women,” said Adut Dhieu Monyjok, the Health and Environment Administrator for Ruweng Administrative Area in the world's newest nation, South Sudan.
Ms. Monyjok was speaking at a health awareness session facilitated by peacekeepers from Mongolia serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Pariang.
More than 50 women and girls from nearby areas took part in the training meted out by Blue Helmets, including midwives, teachers, civil society and government representatives, as well as adolescent girls.
The focus: Educating women and girls on basic health and hygiene; preventing communicable and water-borne diseases and proper handwashing.
“This was an important event for me,” revealed Mary Abui Kur, a midwife. “Birth related complications are common and it’s vital for midwives like me to understand the high level of hygiene and sanitation required for safe deliveries,” she added.
Following the main event, female peacekeepers and women had spirited conversations on a range of issues, shared common concerns and spent time getting to know one another.
“It’s been wonderful to spend the day with these inspirational women peacekeepers from Mongolia,” said Ayen Anthony Kiir, a young girl who participated in the event. “I’ve learned a lot about good health practices, played volleyball with them and even learned a few new dance steps,” she narrated with a smile.
“I want to grow up to become just like them – independent and brave,” added Ayen.
After two hours of quality time, a happy group of women and girls returned to their homes with hygiene kits, aprons, study materials, and, critically, with the assurance that UNMISS is their partner in helping build a more prosperous, peaceful future.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).