From March to August 2016, JCCP implemented a project to improve inter-ethnic relations through group vegetable growing; getting together IDPs and host community members to grow vegetables at a school in Juba, South Sudan.
The project site, Gumbo IDP camp, is located on the outskirts of Juba, the capital of South Sudan. The camp currently plays host to 3,500 IDPs, who have fled to the camp to escape domestic conflict zones, particularly those in the northern and southern parts of the country.
At Gumbo, conflict within the IDP community and between IDPs and host communities is often observed. This is primarily due to differences in culture or language owing to the mix of various different ethnicities in the camp and surrounding area. Additionally, adversarial political relationships across the country, critical food shortages due to abnormal weather, a sudden rise in food prices and falling international support has also negatively impacted the community. Despite the total number of conflicts in Gumbo decreasing due in part to previous JCCP conflict management training projects, recent food shortages have exacerbated the situation.
This has had a significant impact on children in the camp. Violent conflicts in Gumbo`s school have been occurring three times per week on average, with more than half of these conflicts arising due to food shortages .
Under these conditions, JCCP has aimed to promote harmonization between IDPs and host communities by running group agricultural projects where IDPs and host community members work together to grow vegetables.
To begin with, JCCP launched a science club at a primary school in Gumbo. The club consisted of 129 school pupils, 40 parents and 10 school teachers from both IDPs and host communities. They are core actor of this project. JCCP provided tools and prepared land at the school so that club members could work together to grow vegetables. JCCP also provided professional skills training by experts from local agricultural organizations. In this way, club members were able to learn basic vegetable growing practices in the school garden. At the same time, JCCP ran conflict management training workshops which aimed to train participants to address any conflicts arising during these collaborative activities.
Through this project, JCCP aims to promote dialogue and harmonization between IDPs and host communities by promoting peaceful group working practices.
This project is supported by JAPAN PLATFORM (JPF) and supporters’ donations.