Nunu Diana is a Program Officer with the South Sudan Women Empowerment Network (SSWEN)–a national network that aims to empower South Sudanese women, promote human rights, and build peaceful societies in the Republic of South Sudan.
Nunu is a strong advocate for the rights of girls, particularly the rights of girls to access education. She has been involved with the Girls Not Brides campaign to reduce child marriages and promote girl-child education, conducted motivational talks to encourage girls to stay in school, and lobbied for the ratification and signing of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Children (CRC).
Nunu uses activities such as drama and debates to engage children in understanding and promoting human rights. Through these activities, young girls develop advocacy messages, which are then disseminated through magazines and community dialogues to community leaders. These messages help to promote girl-child education in South Sudan. These activities help many young girls learn their rights and develop confidence in school.
Nunu faces many challenges for her work to promote girls’ rights in South Sudan–mostly due to harmful traditions which cut short girls’ childhoods. These traditions encourage girls to marry early, some as young as 8 years old. In most cases, Nunu is not welcome to carry out her activities in communities.
In order to overcome these challenges Nunu consistently visits the communities she works with. She also raises awareness about existing policies that encourage girl-child education and participation, and lobbies for policies that encourage women’s participation.
Nunu urges the international community to focus on building the capacity of the young people, because young people have the energy and potential to create different initiatives that boost development.
Alice joined us in Ottawa for the 2014 Sister-to-Sister Mentorship Program. She completed six weeks of communications and advocacy training alongside two young women activists from Guatemala and Sudan. Alice is now continuing her work to defend women’s rights in South Sudan.