Forum for Community Change and Development (FOFCOD) is an organization that caters for women's needs and also advances women's human rights in southern Sudan. We are an organization who believes that ensuring women's full equality and participation in society is one of the most effective ways to build a just, peaceful and sustainable Southern Sudan. Our programs look at issues concerning economic security, health, safety, education and leadership of women and girls.
Women perform two-thirds of all labor and produce more than half of the world's food. Yet, women own only about one percent of the world's assets, and represent 70 percent of those living in absolute poverty. We help to increase women's ability to contribute to and benefit from economic growth and development.
Violence against Women
The abuse of women and girls is endemic in most societies in Southern Sudan. One in three women will be raped, beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise violated in her lifetime. Our programs offer immediate services to victims of violence raise awareness about their rights and advocate for an end to all forms of violence.
In Southern Sudan and especially Darfur Region Human Trafficking is very common. The root causes of trafficking include
- Violence and political conflict
- Rising unemployment
- Decline of government- sponsored social services
All these have contributed to severe poverty in southern Sudan and an increase in labor exploitation. Women bear the brunt of this economic instability. Desperate living conditions and the devaluation of women and girls, make them particularly vulnerable to trafficking.
Education for Women and Girls
Two-thirds of the world's uneducated children are girls, and two-thirds of the world's illiterate adults are women. Numerous studies have demonstrated that educating women and girls is the Single most effective strategy to ensure the well-being and health of children, and the long-term success of developing economies. Our programs ensure access to education for young women and girls at all stages of their lives.
Entrepreneurship and Skill Development
The majority of youth and young women in Southern Sudan seek wage and employment but only a fraction of employment opportunities are available for the large number of youth and women who graduate from university. Currently, only 10% to 16% of the South Sudanese adult population receives a wage or salary. These facts point to the importance of preparing young people for an alternative route to career success: the area of self-employment.
FOFCOD continues to promote youth and women entrepreneurship and support youth and women entrepreneurs to create decent employment, achieve empowerment and gender equality, and work toward poverty reduction.
FOFCOD works with partners, including local communities to remove the obstacles that youth and women face in starting and growing their businesses. Emphasis is put on building their capacity of through research, Skills training, and to lobby development partners and government on behalf of the interests of youth and women
FOFCOD also promotes career guidance for young people so that they are able to make proper choices in their future careers.
People with Disabilities in South Sudan
Forum for Community Change and development (FOFCOD) is an organization that caters for the needs of all people with disabilities in southern Sudan. We have a cross-disability focus representing the interests of people with all kinds of disability.
We provide or undertake:
- Rights-related information, advice and referral services for people with disability and their associates
- Short-term individual and group advocacy assistance to people with disability and their associates
- Advocacy for reform around systemic issues that adversely affect people with disability and their associates
- Representation of the sector of interest constituted by people with disability and their associates to government, industry and the non-government sector
- Coordination of the sector of interest constituted by people with disability and their associates
- Disability rights-related research and development around issues of concern to people with disability and their associates
- Disability rights-related training & education for people with disability and their associates, service providers, government and the public.
We believe that people with disability, irrespective of the nature, origin and degree of our disability:
- Are entitled to a decent standard of living, an adequate income and to lead active and satisfying lives
- Are people first, with human, legal, social and consumer rights that must be recognized and respected
- Are entitled to the full enjoyment of our citizenship rights and responsibilities
- Are entitled to live free from prejudice, discrimination and vilification
- Are entitled to social support and adjustments as a right and not as the result of pity, charity or the exercise of social control
- Contribute substantially to the intellectual, cultural, economic and social diversity and wellbeing of our community
- Possess many skills and abilities, and have enormous potential for life-long growth and development
- Are entitled to live in, and be a part of, the diversity of the community
- Have the right to define the policies and programs that affect our lives
- Ought to be empowered to exercise their rights and responsibilities, without fear of retribution
Livelihoods and Food Security in South Sudan
In rural areas agriculture is the source of livelihood for 80% of the people and on average it contributes over a third to GDP. Around 80% of farms in Southern Sudan are small, with less than 2 hectares of land and they grow most of the staple food. For instance, About 3.2 million small-scale farmers contribute up to 65% of the value of the agricultural sector while the remaining 25% comes from just 400 commercial farmers.
Agriculture is particularly important for women. Women provide 60-80% of agricultural labour and in many African societies have primary responsibility for growing the household’s food. They also take a large role in small-scale food processing and marketing. The impact of migration and HIV has been to further 'feminize' agriculture.
Southern Sudan is also the region of the world with the highest level of hunger. This situation is getting worse not better. In the Millennium Declaration the world's governments promised to halve hunger by 2015 but in fact there are now more people living with constant hunger than there were when the promise was made.
This utter failure to even reduce hunger, let along halve it, is an indictment of existing international and national government policies on agriculture and food security. Change is needed and one basic issue to address is who makes the policies.
Food systems in Southern Sudan have excluded the vast majority of those involved in producing food and feeding people from formulating food and agriculture policies – women, small scale farmers, indigenous people, migrants, agricultural and fishery labourers and pastoralists. These groups also make up the majority of those living with hunger. It is vital that food producers have a voice in determining policies that affect their own lives on such a fundamental level as the right to food. They bring a wealth of knowledge, understanding of local contexts and diversity of ideas.
FOFCOD is working to support farmers groups in claiming a stronger role in forming policies on agriculture and food security so as to increase the standard of living for the Southern Sudanese through the promotion of house hold income. Our strategy is to develop partnerships with key community groups and families to achieve this.
Why Empower Girls & Women
Because Youth & Women’s human rights are simply ignored and sidelined in South Sudan, FOFCOD work is to stop the suffering and humiliation this brings, and instead ensure that women have the right to be who they are, have opinions and be able to pursue ideas and opportunities alongside men.
To deliver a real difference for women, it’s vital to have a sharp understanding of the barriers to women being empowered and therefore, develop strategies on how to overcome them.
Through our programs, FOFCOD works to address the Gender issues that are critical for the achievement of Gender equality and empowerment of Women.