When Home is New
Anyieth D’Awol, 32, the daughter of a diplomat, spent her childhood traveling the world. She moved to Juba in 2005 with a background in human rights, and she was at first enthusiastic about her U.N. job, which would enable her to live, for the first time, in the place she considered home. But she was quickly disillusioned by the work. “We were doing so-called capacity building, but we kept seeing the same people,” she says. “I thought, why don’t we do something practical, teach people to take care of themselves?” Her vexation and belief that South Sudan’s unique cultural history should be preserved to help forge a cohesive national identity inspired her to launch a nonprofit. In 2009, she founded the Roots Project in Juba, aimed to empower communities through the preservation and production of traditional arts and crafts and to restore stability and a sense of community following decades of destruction. The Centre employs over 50 women from various tribes including women associated with armed forces many of whom shoulder the responsibility of supporting their families. In addition to providing a safe working environment, the Project seeks to build confidence and advance the skills of its workers through consistent skills development, health education, numeracy and literacy classes. Anyieth’s memory of Sudan is the old and decaying houses she used to see on the streets as a young girl.
Images © 2011. Portfolio design by Neon Sky.