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Empowering Communities on trauma awareness and building resilience in South Sudan

Engage communities in trauma awareness to lay the foundation for individual and community healing and reconciliation in South Sudan

Photo of HOPE South Sudan

Written by

What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

In December 2013, political infighting erupted into violence in the streets of the capital, Juba, after South Sudan’s president accused his vice president of an attempted coup. Fighting between the two factions of government forces loyal to each soon moved to Juba, and then to Yei. Violence spread across the young nation like wildfire, displacing 413,000 civilians in just the first month of conflict. Tens of thousands of civilians rushed to seek refuge in U.N. bases that were subsequently turned into makeshift displacement camps. The fighting has continued, becoming an increasingly brutal civil war and affecting the entire country. A handful of peace agreements have been signed over the course of the war — the most recent in September 2018 — but they have been repeatedly violated. While reported incidents of conflict have decreased somewhat since the new deal, the situation in South Sudan remains highly unstable and outbreaks of violence continue. Relatively small numbers of people have started to return home in light of the tenuous peace agreement, but new displacements continue and overall displacement remains high. Those affected are struggling to survive after years of a protracted conflict that has destroyed livelihoods, forced people from their homes, disrupted planting and eliminated critical coping resources, like savings and livestock. Since the conflict began, 1 in 3 people in South Sudan has been displaced. More than 4 million citizens have been forced to flee their homes. Around 2.3 million people have escaped to neighbouring countries in search of safety, and 1.8 million are trapped inside the warring nation. South Sudan is one of the most fled countries in the world, alongside Syria. Therefore, training these people is one of the best things for them to recover from the horrible situation the faced when moving out from their original place and got to be in bad conditions as per now. Trauma awareness is paramount to recovery in South Sudanese society

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Africa, Juba, Yei and Morobo with IDP, Returenees,and host committedSouth Sudan has been this prolonged conflict and lawlessness, several communities living in other states and Juba, as a capital city are victims of and in Diaspora got traumatized. Trauma affected diverse groups including community sector - youth, women, elders, children, government officials – security officers and others, militia/bandits groups, business/private sectors, politicians, media groups, learning institutions,and CSO

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

Trauma awareness is about increasing knowledge, skills and attitudes on trauma, the impact of trauma and how trauma perpetuates tensions within and between communities and providing resilience-building tools. The tools will help people to begin to bridge these divides, paving the way to reconciliation. This is based on the theory that increased trauma awareness will lead to trauma healing for individuals and communities who have an impact on peace and conflict mitigation by conducting training.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

The victim experience and how trauma affects us because the wars have caused a lot of psychosocial issues, prolonged conflicts, and lawlessness, unhealed trauma, and cycles of violence, Mental health issues, poverty, hopelessness, powerlessness, loss of the belove once or dear once rape, Domestic violence, Natural disasters, severe illness or injury, The death of a loved one, Witnessing an act of violence, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that occur after you have been through a traumatic event, that is, something terrible and scary that you have seen or that happens to you. It can also occur if you learn that the traumatic event occurred to someone close to you. Some examples of traumatic events include sexual, emotional or physical abuse as a child, sexual or physical assault, serious accidents, like a car wreck, natural disasters, like a fire, tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake, contact with war and conflict, terrorist attack. On-going trauma can result from relentless.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

conducting more training on trauma awareness is about increasing knowledge, skills and attitudes on trauma, the impact of trauma and how trauma perpetuates tensions within and between communities and providing resilience-building tools where most of the people in the communities will get be recovered from their traumatic experiences The tools will help people to begin to bridge these divides, paving the way to reconciliation. This is based on the theory that increased trauma awareness will lead to trauma healing for individuals and communities who have an impact on peace and conflict mitigation. There will be a sign of reconciliation in the communities as a result of being aware of the issue that affected their lives. most of the community members will gain more skills and knowledge on how to overcome or confront the issue that affects them.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

In other words, prioritizing trauma prevention education in your community is imperative, spreading awareness and training citizens to help stop hemorrhaging that could take an individual's life or have a devastating life effect. ... Individual lives will be saved due to this small investment of time. These cycles of violence beget violence, and, in turn, more trauma. Only once individuals and groups break from these cycles can they sustainably support peace at the micro or macro level. this addressing unhealed trauma and its accompanying symptoms, attitudes, narratives, or behaviors is a prerequisite to embarking on the road to sustainable peace, whether that process entails truth-telling, creating helpful historical narratives, memorializing those harmed, or administering justice, reconciliation, or social healing. They will believe that people equipped with such knowledge and tools will be better able to draw on inner, familial, and cultural resources to begin to heal themselves

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

The South Sudanese communities are very conflicts because diversities and the Community disadvantage comes about as a result of the complex interplay between the characteristics of residents living in a community (e.g., unemployment, low income) and the effects of the social and environmental context within the community (e.g., weak social networks, relative lack of opportunities). The idea that economic factors alone are the foundation for advantage and disadvantage undermines the complexity and scope of disadvantage. This view also erroneously implies that economic solutions alone are an adequate response to disadvantage. A number of new perspectives have recently emerged that highlight the multifaceted nature of disadvantage and demand a more sophisticated response to it but intend they do understand only when we context to their local understanding. In addition to theoretical advances, there have also been advances in the measurement of community advantages and disadvantages.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

The workshop provided participants with the understanding and apparatus for the accomplishment of effective Trauma Awareness and training activities. Community Partners are able to give back to their community through supporting education and youth. It provides an exciting opportunity for employees to mentor communities to enhance their learning, and share an understanding of their industry, potential pathways and opportunities, and skills necessary for their help the recover from the issues. Partners are able to directly contribute to shaping future leaders. This will also enable the freedom of expression by all the communities as they will be freed from traumatic experiences they have undergone through once in their life like intergenerational trauma that is happening in South Sudan. Interactive learning methods were used to train participants with the objective that they would be able to adapt and apply a standardized format to their learning and sharing with communities.

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

We will be in coordination with the stakeholders in the country such as the NNGO, INGO, government Counterparts for a better process, community leaders, county authorities, state-level authorities, and the church leader, and event the donors' communities as well as the media for support to the other communities outlook.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Returning home

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Pilot: We have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users. The feasibility of an innovation is tested in a small-scale and real world application (i.e. 3-15% of the target population)

Group or Organization Name

Humanitarian Organisation For People's Empowerment

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

HOPE-SS is a national organization been formed by experience national who has been working in different fields in the County such as Women and Youth Empowerment Program, MHPSS, Health Training Program on Trauma Awareness, Protection and GBV for communities, Education to the communities in South Sudan with a different organization. We have well-trained personnel by USAID who has been the field of this program for over 2 years and we have been of different cultural background that made us become too strong in implementation of such a project in the entire country. The wealth of experience is enough to be able to support our communities base on our context in South Sudan. We have been working in coordination forums that bring together different actors an also doing some of the related fields of activities. Most of the people in the communities we have been saving them before and after in different projects and we had a baseline survey assessment in the communities where this refurnees are

Website URL:

Under development

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country

South Sudan

Organization Headquarters: City / State



Join the conversation:

Photo of Uchenna Okafor

Hi HOPE South Sudan! Super insightful to design for the resettlement of displaced and traumatized victims of conflict in South Sudan. Moreover, if able bodied persons are traumatized, what could be of disabled persons who are already traumatized by their challenge and societal attitude towards them. So, is there any provision to accommodate their special needs in this solution?

Photo of HOPE South Sudan

Hi Uchenna, it is my pleasure to hear from you. HOPE-South Sudan is an inclusive Organization that helps all the categories of people who have issues.or have mental health issues in their life. We do consider intellectual disabilities without undermining them because they are also potential human being in terms helping our country South Sudan. And disability is not inability. Therefore, we have role to play in making sure that all human beings are equally when we ate delivering our services regardless of sex, age. Many thanks for asking me the questions

Photo of Kinda Al Massalmeh

Hi HOPE South Sudan I like the idea of your project that you are working on because I know the importance of offering this kind of support to people who have been subjected to short/long-term stress or any kind of violence. I would like to ask you if you take into consideration the people who feel ''ashamed'' of receiving any kind of psychological support and what kind of support do you offer to people?Medical or Psychological support, or both?

Thank you and good luck

Photo of HOPE South Sudan

Hi Kinda, Thank You very much for the comments and the question asked. Yes, we have been doing different support particularly Psychological support through training of the communities who majority victims of some of the pain they had underwent through in their life and we had many of the testimonies by the participants on how the training we do have helped them to recover from some of their problems. We also do help train the medical professionals on the trauma awareness program where we had different basic curriculum for training them in order to help the needy people in the communities. This is because we realised also that most of the medical personally have undergone through secondary trauma and compassion fatigue in life as they help other, so they do need also psychological help in order to be able to treat the patient.

Since we were doing this before, with USAID funding project, but now closed. we had trained over 12,000 beneficiaries from different parts of South Sudan. Therefore, HOPE South Sudan picking with all possible to support south Sudanese people to recovery from the cycles of violence and begin to move to the healing journey of life. Yes, We Can do all this through people of every one in the world.

Photo of Kinda Al Massalmeh

Thank you for your response and good luck

Photo of HOPE South Sudan

You are welcome and hope for the better.

Photo of NDEF Cameroon

Good work. Courage!

Photo of HOPE South Sudan

Thank You very much NDEF Cameroon and we all hope for the better South Sudan who will be Trauma Free to the larger extent and through our support from different parts of the world, we can do more to help all the IDPs. I was last we in one of the County call Morobo at the board with DRC and the community are been treated outside just because of the Health facility been devasted during the wartime and they are using someone shop. Life is not early for many in South Sudan.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh

Hi HOPE South Sudan the challenge's idea phase will be closing on 17th August. Could you clarify if you are working directly with the people on the move in the refugee camps or clinics in South Sudan? What are the results of the project so far in your pilot phase?

I would suggest also to have a look at our challenge brief: and our challenge evaluation criteria:

To help guide your research, you can have a look at our community research toolkit:, and possibly create and share with us the project user journey map which is very important to integrate into this platform as you progress in the challenge!

Photo of HOPE South Sudan

Hi Bremley, My name is Slash Moses working for HOPE-South Sudan as a national NGO. Yes, I have been working directly with the people whom we are targeting who are with different groups such as IDP-Internal Displaced Person, Retureness who are coming back from Refugees camps in Uganda and also including the host communities where both are coming to settle.

We have so far conducted 125 pieces of training for the last two year in my group and there is a lot needed for this communities to be supported because I had the first-hand experiences as a trainer with the communities and there have a lot of testimonies that are very much painful and it needs such kinds of training that will help recover from the experience so that they begin the new life or new journey of life that will start from Identification of the traumatic events, Talk about them,remember them, tell stories about them,and finally start the healing journey which will begin to help them break free from the cycles of violence eg Truth, Mercy, Justice, Peace, and possibilities of reconciliation in their families.

Photo of Bremley Lyngdoh

I am happy to see your progress Slash Moses on this platform so keep up the good work. To follow up on Temba Vicent perhaps you can collaborate as a partner from South Sudan to scale your reach and impact with Rishab Khanna  from and Tom Duncan  from who are building a Migration Lab Program which will become a finance platform for refugee playing the role of social entrepreneurs in the Horn of Africa and East Africa

Photo of Tom Duncan

Hi Slash Moses feel free to reach our to us if you are working with IDPs or refugees who have become social entrepreneurs to support the urgent needs of their communities on the move. We could develop a partnership to support them and fund their projects via the Goodwallet of I wish your team all the very best!

Photo of HOPE South Sudan

Thank you very much, Tom, for feedback and I really appreciate that we can become in partnership to support the communities with the project. We hope for the better and maybe we share more information through my email too

Photo of Udoka Inwang

Amazing work HOPE South Sudan 

Photo of HOPE South Sudan

Thank You Udoka. We are trying to help our people come out from the cycles of violence in South Sudan where the country is full of hart speeches. We have started training communities in South Sudan about the ways of coming out or breaking free from the cycles of violence they have been traped in so that they once again become free from the problems and start to work to the Journey of life with freedoms

Photo of Temba Vicent

Hello HOPE South Sudan 


Thank you very much. How your idea empower the displaced people or Wellcome community to support refugees?

Thank you Temba

Photo of HOPE South Sudan

Thank You very much for the feedback and the question. My dear will empower the communities by creating a social space where all the Returnees will be able to express their views and share their stories or storytelling with others in order to get relief from the experience she or he had undergone through in life and enable them to join other communities for a day of learning and collaboration as we work together to create a trauma-responsive community.
This training session sessions will also empower the group intervention for women who survived trauma and have substance use and or mental health conditions in South Sudan due to the horrible things that happened to them and this will draw on their cognitive-behavioral, skills training, and psych educational techniques to address recovery and healing from sexual, physical, and emotional abuse which is too much in South Sudan as results of the war.
I will also carry out on empowerment through helping the group members learn strategies for self-comfort and accurate self-monitoring as well as ways to establish safe physical and emotional boundaries when focuses more directly on trauma experience and its consequences. In this focus shifts explicitly to skills building. These sessions include emphases on communication style, decision-making, regulating overwhelming feelings, and establishing safer, more reciprocal relationships.