Lam Cosmas

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I am Director at Holy Trinity Peace Village (HTPV) located in Kuron, a remote place in South Sudan near the Ethiopian border. HTPV was founded in 2005 by Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Torit, Rt. Rev. Paride Taban. It is a vison and dream for creating an “oasis of peace” in South Sudan and the region. It is an integrated intervention among pastoralist communities, who hitherto had raided and counter-raided animals in Kuron.

HTPV operates programs and services to achieve its vision and mission. HTPV programs are based on the principles of “Transforming Conflict, Reconciling People, Building Communities”. The core programs and services are;

A. CORE PROGRAMS
1. Conflict Transformation – The goal of the programme is to establish a peaceful and secured environment among the communities of Kauto in Kapoeta state and Boma County in Boma state by addressing the root causes of conflict. During the strategic period, the department’s theme is “peace, stability and governance in Kuron area and Boma County”.

2. Livelihood (Agricultural) Program. The twofold objectives of the department are (i) demonstration and (ii) income generation for participating local community’s members. The main focus of the department during the year has been on agricultural demonstration in vegetable growing, cultivation of sorghum and tree planting.

B. SERVICES
3. Education – HTPV education initiative is community-based. As a community based education initiative (CBEI), the educational programmes address three aspects contributing to the broader socio-cultural transformation needs. The aspects are (i) community mobilization and engagement, (ii) infrastructural improvement, (iii) learners instructions and instruction materials, (iv) stakeholders’ involvement for sustainability through the school management committee (SMC) and parents’-teachers Association, (v) playground and facility for the early childhood development section and (vi) capacity improvement and welfare of the teachers.

The goal of HTPV’s education is to empower children between 4 – 18 years from the catchment area; Kuato and Boma with literacy and vocational skills for sustainable livelihood and community co-existence.
a. Early Childhood Development
b. Primary School
c. Vocational Training Centre

4. Health Program
HTPV health clinic is the only functional facility in Kauto area, providing ongoing out-patients and limited in-patient services involving treatment of community members especially children.

Other programs at HTPV include;

“The Peace Academy” – In 2015, the board transformed and re-named the Youth Centre into a “Peace Academy”. The evolving Peace Academy at HTPV is both a space and structure – a space, to which individuals and groups are invited to come and share in the experiences, to learn from and to be transformed by it. The “academy” is already being realized; the demonstration plot in various crops, tree planting, the school and the pastoral outreaches to surrounding communities with God’s word of love and peace.

Within the academy, HTPV is proposing an internship program, to provide real world experience for students/graduates looking to explore and or gain the relevant knowledge and skills required to become facilitators of good governance, service delivery, healing, reconciliation and peace in order to contribute to the post-conflict recovery and development in the Republic of South Sudan. HTPV will engage interns in the field of local governance, community development, peacebuilding, education and livelihood (livestock and agriculture) that form the basis of community survival, growth and development.

In order to gain experience on various activities, the interns will be involved in areas of activities related to their field of study related to specific program needs at HTPV and its communities. Interns would comprise from the categories of (a) “children of Kuron” – young people nurtured by HTPV, who for them, HTPV is “mother and father”, (b) graduates and or (c) continuing students in the relevant fields of work and or service of HTPV. It may be at any level of study; certificate, diploma or bachelors’ degree. Interns may be nationals or foreign as well.

The Chaplaincy – The Chaplaincy is animated by the Chapel/pastoral team under the leadership and guidance of a Chaplain (a Pastor). Pastoral activities include daily and Sunday masses, staff and HTPV community sacrament preparation. To a limited extent, the pastoral team carries outreach to local communities, where sacraments, especially baptisms for young adults are administered.