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Restoring Hope in South Sudan

“Less than one percent of humanitarian funding goes to the very real gender-based violence issues,” said Angelina Nyajima Simon Jial, founder of Hope Restoration South Sudan, to the crowd gathered at the 2019 Women Deliver conference. Jial spoke about the importance of engaging civil society organizations in humanitarian action during the IAWG co-hosted session, entitled, A Humanitarian System by Women, for Women: the Essential Role of Women-Focused CSOs.

“Women’s issues go unnoticed because a platform is not available to them,” Jial shared. “In humanitarian settings, they have to form their own networks and make their voices heard.”

Angelina Nyajima Simon Jial

Founder of Hope Restoration South Sudan

Jial did just that when she founded Hope Restoration South Sudan [link opens in a new tab] (HRSS) in 2010. HRSS is a national non-governmental organization (NNGO) committed to capacity building, research, advocacy, and and addressing the needs and rights of survivors of gender-based violence (GBV). HRSS provides critical services to GBV survivors in South Sudan by establishing a safe space for women and girls to access care, including psycho-social support, legal support, income-generating activities, and more. In addition to founding and leading HRSS, Jial advocates on behalf of local women-led NGOs in South Sudan to improve outcomes for women and girls at the community level and increase the effectiveness of the humanitarian response.

Jial has served as Chair of the South Sudan National NGO Steering Committee for two consecutive terms, where she advocates powerfully for national NGOs and women-led organizations. With support from IAWG member CARE, Angelina traveled to UN Headquarters in 2018 to speak on a high-level humanitarian panel on South Sudan alongside the heads of OCHA, ICRC and several UN agencies. She captured the room when she spoke from first-hand experience about the barriers NNGOs face when competing with INGOs for scarce resources and what kinds of support local women’s organizations need to begin to level the playing field. Mark Lowcock, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, publicly recognized Angelina was one of South Sudan’s unsung humanitarian heroes.

As a member of both the GBV Sub Cluster and the Protection Cluster in South Sudan, she was a credible and authoritative voice on why and how the UN peacekeeping mission could improve GBV prevention and response following the mass rape of women and girls in Benitu in 2018. With support from CARE and the NGO Working Group on Women Peace and Security, Angelina briefed the UN Security Council in 2019, alongside the Head of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) , helping to convince the Council that UNMISS had to start partnering with women-led national NGOs to strengthen its GBV response.

Hear Jial speak about her work starting at 19:00.

Having brokered several bilateral meetings for Angelina with Mark Lowcock, CARE invited Angelina to chair a closed NNGO meeting with him in the margins of the Oslo SGBV Pledging Conference in May 2019; she also made powerful contributions to a number of other panels at the Oslo Conference. With support from IAWG and CARE, Angelina most recently participated in Women Deliver 2019, speaking on several panels and events about SRHR and localization, sharing her experiences with fellow activists from around the world.

Angelina’s leadership in international advocacy has repeatedly taken her away from her family, staff and organization. CARE has worked to offer flexible and responsive support to reduce the burden of this demanding work and pave the way for Angelina bring her political savvy, time and deep expertise to global and regional policy dialogues, including support obtaining visas, navigating the UN system, spotting funding opportunities and brokering speaking engagements that position her to advance her constituencies’ interests at the highest levels of decision-making. Over the course of 2019, CARE has also been assisting Angelina to identify potential new funders and lodge grant applications to keep the doors of HRSS’ women and girl friendly space open.

You can learn more about Jial and Hope Restoration South Sudan by visiting their website.