Cultural Gala; a Unifying Factor
AAH South Sudan through its Capacity Building for Post Conflict Reintegration (CAPOR) project has been implementing a peace-building initiative aimed at supporting peaceful coexistence and reintegration among communities in South Sudan using both main stream and alternative forms of media.
Recently, the project organised a classic fest at the Yei Freedom Square, under the theme ‘Different tribes one culture for peace and unity.’ The event, which was held in collaboration with the local authority of Yei River County under the Commissioner Inspector of Youth and Sports, brought together participants from Western, Eastern and Central Equatoria States. Activities that comprised of songs, and dance and cultural shows amongst others, kicked off at a high note attracting a wide range of participants who included local communities, religious leaders, politicians and other prominent personalities eager to learn positive attributes of the local culture.
The gala provided a learning and knowledge exchange platform. Topics ranging from cultural values, positive traditional practises, leadership and governance, history and origin of tribes formed the day’s agenda. In addition, the project also partnered with Spirit FM; a local radio station and ran an interactive cultural segment that educated the populace on positive cultural values aimed at promoting peaceful co-existence and reintegration among communities.
In his opening remarks at the gala, the Inspector of Youth and Sports, Mr. Kujjo Bernard was quick to mobilise support for the event. ‘Culture gives us the first lessons of life. We are therefore grateful to AAH South Sudan for sponsoring this noble initiative that is promoting our collective cultural aspirations to nurture harmonious living amongst our different communities,” he reiterated. Also in attendance was the Deputy Mayor, Mr. Silvano Ali who echoed call for support of the event. ‘A cultural gala is an effective vehicle of positive change in enhancing peace and unity within any society. Any functional society thrives on unifying beliefs, customs, and attitudes and are vital for its existence and sustenance,” he said. “Young people should be taught on how to be custodians of positive values such as we have witnessed here today I laude AAH South Sudan for organising such an event, a first of its kind and I hope that this will evolve into an annual event that we can all look forward to.”
In closing, CAPOR project coordinator, Igga David Juma thanked all who attended the gala and called out participants to put into practice what they had learnt. He also challenged them to form community groups in all the locations and use them as avenues to educate the youth about culture and its role in enhancing peaceful co-existence and reintegration among communities.
The huge crowd that had turned out for the event was not disappointed as interludes of song and dance punctuated the speeches and continued long into the evening as the day wound down.
By Igga David Juma, Project Coordinator and Slyvia Nani, Ass. Information Communication Officer, AAH South Sudan.