Hope in the Dark: The Hope Village Project in Lainya County

Hope in the Dark: The Hope Village Project in Lainya County

Earlier at the beginning of this year 2022, we received an invitation to come to Lainya to help the community set up a community-centred media project. As a responsive organization, we recently visited the community with support from Amplifying Voices UK and our first thing is to listen to the community members as we always do. During community listening meetings in Lainya County, there is one word we can’t fail to hear in the people’s words, see its quest in their eyes, and feel it in their needs, that word is “Hope”. As we listen closely, we knew the community wanted us to help them in their dreams and here are some of the things we heard in quotes:

“You’ve come (to us) at the right time when the lost Hopes of the people need to be rebuilt… for many years the people of the Lainya are left in darkness… this (Project) will be help in give information and educational opportunities, and in facilitating community dialogues and Peacebuilding” – Bishop Rufas Joel Lemi

“The community of Lainya have experienced untold and horrific suffering, especially among the women who always bear the burden of wars… such as rape and GBV. We think (the project) will help us with this… and also women empowerment. We shall be able to voice out our concerns and issues.” – Loice Mona, women representative.

“…the beginning of new dawn to the people and the County at large. (Our) farmers will get educational opportunities on best agricultural practices, get market price updates and bring the community together to live in harmony.” – Mr Samuel Modi, the Head Chief of Lainya County.

The Lainya Payam Community-centred media shall be called Hope Village Project.

Community Development Centre – CDC and Amplifying Voices UK have agreed to work with this community on the Hope Village to realize positive outcomes for the people of Lainya County and restore the lost hope of the people. They told us that they designed Hope village as a medium to help bring their dreams come true, it is to be a place of hope. Hope is the flip side of a dream. With Hope Village dreams will come true, and more dreams will bring more hope.

As with our other community-centred media projects, Hope Village will have listener groups with MP3 Speaker-Boxes and SD cards with audio content distributed monthly. The program seeks to bridge the gaps between the community and different service providers, combat GBV issues, promote peace and enhance the community’s access to the right information. Provide educational content and entertainment to relieve stress. Hope Village provides a community-led platform for peacebuilding and dialogue to address conflict-related barriers to farming and trade, and for discovering new hope and healing, and a safe space bringing together local community members, including migrant cattle herders, government and warring groups. all people will be able to speak, and be listened to, and fosters an understanding of the human experiences of others.

Hope Village will provide training on detection, prevention and early warning. facilitate Community-Based Peace Forum (CBPF) and support listener group members, particularly women and youth by distributing Agri-business products to the groups and providing skills to start businesses, and introducing them to the Saving schemes and many other off-air activities. It is our hope that the Hope Village will help the local community in Lainya to find a way to heal and hope again, and also become a place of discovering happiness, well-being, overcoming grief, trauma, etc.

Lainya is a county in Central Equatoria State, South Sudan; the county suffered the most from the conflict and the County Health Department reports increasing traumatic stress, anxiety and PTSD occurrence. There is an estimated population of 75,000 people living in Lainya county according to the Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC). These compose of majorly the Host, then IDPs and returnees. We are optimistic that the hope village will bear fruits having worked with traumatized communities in the refugee camps of Northern Uganda using community-centred media. This month the Lainya Hope Village Listener groups will receive speaker boxes and SD Cards with the Village’s first produced audio content. To conclude, there is no better way to speak of Hope Village than hear the lyrics of the Hope Village Theme Song which was written with inspiration from the listening sessions.

Hope Village Theme Song Lyrics:
With our voices, faith within,
Love in our hearts, peace in our minds,
We’ll rise, we’d be flying…
With our dreams as our wings…
This is the hope village,
This is the hope village,
Hope Village,
Hope village”

Click below to listen to the Hope Village podcast theme tune:

Wordpress spectrum audio
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