This September Banaa hosted USAID’s VISTAS of South Sudan (South Sudan’s Viable Support to Transition and Stability) for a public briefing on their work. The USAID VISTAS group discussed their efforts in South Sudan to mitigate the spread of future conflicts and rising tension in critical areas. The program participates in grassroots solutions to promote stability within communities, hosting skills courses for women and providing IDPs with resources and shelter. The program works directly with communities towards peace and community-level aimed conflict mitigation. Banaa was grateful to have the opportunity to learn more about the ongoing conflicts and developments in South Sudan from the peace builders who work with USID VISTAS.
One of these peace builders is Makwei Deng, the first Banaa scholar at The George Washington University. Makwei, originally from Jonglei state, graduated from GW with a double major in Economics and Philosophy. Makwei now works as a program specialist for VISTAS based in Bor, Jonglei state. Makwei is a wonderful example of a Banaa scholar successfully working towards peace in his home nation. Banaa wishes Makwei and the rest of the USAID VISTAS staff the best of luck as they return home and continue to work to bring stability to South Sudan.