About 300 radio sets distributed in Bentiu
By James Atem Kuir
Action for Conflict Resolution (ACR) distributed about 300 multifunctional and solar-powered radio sets to residents in Bentiu to boost their access to reliable information.
The three-day exercise began on Sunday through Tuesday this week, in which beneficiaries including those with special needs and elderly persons, received the equipment to help them access information about the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing peace process.
ACR, a national nongovernmental organization involved in facilitating dialogue across communities and promoting peaceful co-existence in South Sudan, with its funding from the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA), is implementing a number of empowerment campaigns including trainings on human rights, awareness about dangers of corruption, and effective use of social media, under a project called: Engaging Youths in Democratic Processes, in Bentiu Town, Unity State.
According to ACR program coordinator Peter Gatkuothsaid the radio sets will now help the residents access accurate and timely information about issues of concern such as the COVID-19 pandemic and peace implementation and make informed decision about their lives.
“Since the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic in the country, most people here, especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly, have been lacking some information about the disease. So, we thought radio can help them get information about Covid-19. Through these radios they can listen to peace messages and get to connect with the rest of the country,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.
Kayondi Patricia Albino who is ACR’s Monitoring and Evaluation officer in Bentiu said women and girls often lag behind when it comes to access to information.
She said the radios will provide women beneficiaries who are 50 percent, with a platform to access information about issues of concern such as the Gender Based Violence (GBV) among others.
“Information and knowledge is power, now that the radios have been given to them(women recipients), it will give them access to information on Covid-19 and things to do with GBV,” Ms Albino said.
Rebecca Nyanuar Deng, an elderly woman in her sixties said she had never owned a radio set before. She said she now feels empowered to have a radio and will use it to listen to news about the ongoing peace process.
“I’m so grateful to ACR for giving me this radio, this is my first time having a radio. I can now listen to news about the peace process,” in a interview with Juba Monitor from Bentiu on Tuesday.
YoanisRiekWuyu, another beneficiary and youth leader in the state said he is glad vulnerable people who normally find it hard to access information about health and diseases will now be able to do so through listening to radio.
“We are very thankful to ACR for what they did today. It’s something very important because we have a number of vulnerable people who got radios today. It will now help the local community including vulnerable people, get reliable information and make informed decisions about their lives,” he said.
The radio sets according to Peter Gatkuoth, distributed to 300 households in Rubkona, Bentiu Town and Bentiu IDPs, can also function as a torch and music player.