It was once like a walk on the wild side. Since 1986, the place had known nothing but war and misery. It was an outpost for wayfarers on the long march across border points that had seen the ravages of war in equal mark. Away from the searing effects of guerilla warfare, there is, nevertheless, a flicker of hope in the making.
Sitting in a marginalized area in South Sudan, Ikotos is not a usual trading center. It is an outpost that is garnering a development record that can ebb the rhetorical rising of bile of the French aid group, Doctors Without Borders, whenever they land on an African setting fresh from the nightmare of killings.
For indeed, despite falling in the shadow of a two-decade long war that saw the Sudanese Liberation Army (SPLA) and Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) each make it an equal target for ravaging, it has remained a great center for poverty eradication.
Currently, Emerge Poverty Free is trying to find a common denominator that can change the lives of the Ikotos’ community that now bears the blunt of displacement. The objective of the plan is to make the locals as self-sufficient as they can, with resources from both the local area and the international community. The agency providing this help has a macroscopic view of the South Sudan human condition, which it wishes to stem by curing what ails the economy, in spite of its oil reserves: nipping poverty, once and for all.
The making of a project has to involve all stakeholders, including the locals, who are going to reap from the undertakings. This entails working in cohort with donors, who not only see the blueprints, but allow the people to see them and question them, if need be. At the end of the day, the project will not become just a cocoon in which to hide from the cruel world out there, but a development that the residents can approach with nuts and spanners to dissect, when they find themselves without support.
Because education means enlightenment and the road to happiness, the Emerge Poverty Free organization has helped provide learning amenities for the community. The forum overcomes the cultural oversight of the girl child by society: in Sudan, the fairer sex has better chances of succumbing at her nativity, than finishing her primary-level leaning endeavors.
Because stability means overall mechanism that can help influence the micro-economic lot of the locals, the Ikotos center is undergoing an internal revolution in governance. By simply eradicating the plague of poverty, well-fed people are able to make it to the next level of democracy: progress. This is why, in tandem with educating the masses and providing them with shelter, the forum is also initiating diverse economic activities, privy to the ecological dispensation of the region.
When the last stone is in place, one can be sure Ikotos will not bear the acne of blood and gore that once characterized the landscape during the civil war.