An hour away in the rural town of Tongi, Mahmuda Akhter, 16, sits in a mobile phone servicing shop in the main market. A stressed looking customer rushes in with his phone. Holding a small screwdriver, Mahmuda pries open the cover of his mobile and diagnoses the problem.
The world has just witnessed the birth of South Sudan. During this historic time, we thought we would share this letter from our colleagues Nicola Banks and Munshi Sulaiman working at BRAC, the world’s largest development organization which has been working in South Sudan for the past three years.
Last year, the Australian Government commissioned an independent review of its overseas aid program, AusAID, to examine the effectiveness of the current program and recommend improvements. The study's findings, which were published in an April 2011 report, found that AusAID's overall performance was effective, particularly in Bangladesh where it has delivered key improvements in education, health, and reducing extreme poverty. The review cites that these results have been achieved through a range of partnerships with NGOs, most notably BRAC. In a resounding endorsement, the review panel argued that "BRAC is a good example of an effective local NGO that Australia can confidently support."
Joyce has been a tailor for a long time. She makes clothes for her five children and then some. A new order has come in to make uniforms for the local kindergarten school nearby.“I taught my husband how to use the sewing machine, so he can help me when I have lots of work”, she says, as she beams at her black and gold sewing machine.There was a time though when life was much harder. Living in a household of 13 people means that everything must stretch, and in the war torn region of Southern Sudan even essentials are scarce.