Women in Yambio are faced with different constraints and vulnerabilities, yet the economic burden of providing for their families remains a major part of their responsibility. To address these challenges, last year, UNDP initiated a Sustainable Livelihood Skills Training (SLST) project targeting 400 women in Yambio to build economic resilience, reduce gender economic disparity, and to empower vulnerable women to take charge of their lives and livelihoods.
Star Trust Organization, the implementing partner, identified nine (9) enterprises in which 525 women are being trained on these includes; Tailoring, Fashion, and Design, Embroidery, Catering, Decoration and Events management, Vegetable growing, Poultry, Juice processing, Bakery, and Salon. Though most of the enterprises got an overwhelming interest expression, the Decoration and Event s Management enterprise was not one of the favourites for many. Only Ten (10) women enrolled in it. These ten women team is quickly gaining popularity and benefits from the trade. Other trainees frequently visit their class, to take pictures, model on the decorated walkways, and generally admire the art and beauty exhibited by the team.
“I am amazed at the resilience, shire determination and commitment of these women, said Vincent the training consultant. Some of the women have not had a formal education system, needless to mention any skilled training in decoration and event management, and yet they have been able to learn so fast so that institutions and individuals are already booking dates in advance to hire their skills. The fast truck learning ability amidst a busy family and domestic duties that these women have demonstrated leaves Vincent perplexed. “This training always takes 6 to 8 months for participants to attain the level that these women have in just two months,” he remarked.
The unstoppable 10 women are already reaping from the skills acquired. In just a month into their training, the team has been engaged in its first real event management. Last month the team was invited to decorate in the event of the inauguration of Safari Hotel in Yambio. This event introduced them to the taste and benefits of the acquired skills, in which 5,000 South Sudanese Pounds token of appreciation given to the team. The face value of this sum does not reflect what it meant to these women. It was the beginning of a new economic era, rejuvenation of hope of a better life for their families.
“This is one of the rare opportunity that has happened in my life; I can now design and decorate any event, such as birthday, weddings, and any other function. Surely, with the coming of peace, many people will begin celebrations, it will be our group to manage such events, and we shall be able to earn from it. I want to thank UNDP for helping women like me in Yambio to earn my livelihood and help my children study and not become like me,” said Christine 29, a single mother of three.
On Sunday, March 8, 2020. The team was hired to decorate the launch of Akasia Pharmaceuticals LTD in Masia, on decorating a three-pillar store the group was paid 2500SSP. Mr Akasia who is the owner of the store was satisfied with the adornment, art, and beauty that is store got. “Fine art brings beauty, this skill is so important in our community. I am so glad that we can find and hire such talent locally. This is an employment opportunity, for both women and men, and what makes this specific group unique is that it is an all-women’s team. Other women will be inspired to remain committed and hard work to achieve common challenge”
The decoration and event management enterprise is a small but yet focused team with big ambition. While still on training, the team has built up a strong group dynamic, and has formed an event company, and named it Team Events Company limited whose legal processes are underway with the relevant authorities in town.
Team Events hit their first jackpot on the International Women’s Day 2020, an event that was decorated and managed by the company. Attending the function was the UNMISS Head of office, the state secretary-general and other local women representatives and dignitaries. This event earned them the sum of 30,000 SSP. This event acted as the launch of the Team Event Enterprise, through an elaborate speech by the team leader, who urged the community and international partners to support them.
A startup package that will engender this enterprising group in the business community in Yambio is being planned and will be handed during graduation after the end of the course period.
This group is not the only one that is already benefitting from the training. The vegetable group is planning to provide fresh vegetables to the market in Yambio as soon as possible.
The optimism of the unstoppable 10 is leading way in Yambio Vocational Center to other groups. It also remains the only group with the highest retention rate that gives it an advantage to progress in its future endeavour.