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Tailoring courses and leadership training support a young woman’s dream in South Sudan



Victoria is a young, displaced woman living in the Naivasha IDP site in WAU, South Sudan, since 2017. With the support of the Women's Participation Project (WPP) throughout the years, Victoria has become a camp community leader and has recently enrolled in tailoring courses that have changed her present and future. 


Victoria finds life in the Naivasha camp extremely dangerous. As women and girls lack access to education and economic opportunities, it is challenging to be financially independent or feel confident to be engaged in breadwinning activities. 

"Often men let off steam on their wives because they are unemployed and unable to carry the burden of providing for their families alone," Victoria says. She also adds that women do not only face gender-based violence in their homes but are also subject to harassment and rape from men on the site. 

Under the Women's Participation Project implemented by IOM in South Sudan, Victoria has learned to tailor and sell bedsheets and tablecloths and has received leadership training that helped her boost her self-esteem. The Project aims to enhance livelihood opportunities and strengthen participation for displaced women and girls, mitigating the risk of gender-based violence. 

 "With the revenue I am earning as a tailor, I was able to send my three children to school and participate in the household's expenses," Victoria announces proudly. 

With the support and leadership training Victoria received throughout the Project, Victoria could identify the needs of displaced women and girls on the site and address solutions to their problems: "Displaced young girls require education and vocational training in tailoring, bread making, protection and job opportunities to support their lives and families."  

Victoria recognises the difference she could make as an empowered young woman who can provide for herself and her family. This realisation had made her self-confident and ambitious: "In five years, I see myself working in an NGO or a government institution, living outside of this camp, raising my kids in a better house and sending them to better schools." 

The Women's Participation Project that supported Victoria and others derives from a global initiative implemented by IOM and other organisations in different displacement contexts and settings to support equitable and meaningful participation and representation of displaced women and girls. Initiated in 2016, the WPP is part of the 'Safe from the Start' Initiative funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM).  

The WPP Project has helped amplify the voices of more than 6000 displaced women and girls in 12 countries worldwide and has contributed to mitigating the risk of gender-based violence in these locations.  


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