3 min read
I CAN South Sudan launches Children's Peace Building Program in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement

6th April 2019

I CAN South Sudan launches Children Peace building Program in Bidibidi Zone 1, cluster 2  sponsored by Planting Seeds of Love www.plantingseedsoflove.com . The program is part of Children Peace Building Initiative Project written by I CAN South Sudan for 2019 to build peace in Refugee Settlement in Bidibidi as the children’s efforts towards the South Sudan signed Revitalized Peace Agreement in Khartoum in September 2018.

Speaking to I CAN South Sudan’s Secretary Mr. Seme Ludanga Faustino after the launching on Friday, he expressed his appreciation to Planting Seeds of Love leader ‘Pam Donkin’ www.pamdonkin.com  for the support extended to the unaccompanied children in the refugee camp. “We are grateful that Planting Seeds of love selected one of our activities in the ‘Children Peace Building Initiative Project for 2019’ to sponsor which has got us under way to achieve our objectives for the year." “This program will help in healing the children of trauma; keep the children busy in doing constructive activities and hence preventing them from other negative peer pressure. The program will instill love and peace in the children. They will spread this love and peace to the refugee communities in Bidibidi Refugee Settlement Zone 1 through planting seeds of Water Melon and distribute to 300 households as symbol of peace,” he continued. “This will be accompanied by a message on peace from the children to each household, and as the Water Melon grows and produce, so will the seeds of peace and love be growing and spreading around.

When Pam Donkin was contacted by email she replied “This project of Planting Seeds of love was launched years ago in USA and has been available for teachers to use in class rooms. When I saw a note from Stephen Wandu Bimo, the Director of I CAN South Sudan on the Children’s Music Network Forum looking for ideas for other activities he could do with the unaccompanied South Sudan Children in Bidibidi, along with music, I wrote to him about a website I started years ago that centers on a song I wrote called ‘Planting Seeds of love.’ At www.plantingseedsoflove.com there are art activities as well as song. The art projects are both creative and manipulative, from making seed paper hearts, and planting them with loving and peaceful intentions, to creating ‘Planting Seeds of Love’ Book about how children plan to bring peace and love into their world and the wider world, to create book children use creative writing combined with art work. 

Asking for her expectation of the project, Pam Said “I hope that by singing the song and then creating these art and creative writing projects that tie in with it, that these strong and brave children of Bidibidi camp, who live with adversity every day, will have a chance to just relax and enjoy doing the activities.” “I hope they can explore their feelings and thoughts and express their dreams and desires in creative and self nurturing ways

In her message to the children, Pam wrote “My heart is singing along with you from the other side of the world!” “I am thinking of you and hope you all have a fun and inspiring time?”

One of the I CAN Children Peter Lokosang, expressed his happiness in a speech during the launching “we are happy that our voice and desire for peace is reaching to wider audience and we are happy for the support given to us. We have received art books on which we will express ourselves in drawings, we will be able to plant Water Melon and distribute it to other refugee children for peace to prevail in their hearts, house and in Bidibidi. Fruits are good for the health and we believe by distributing fruits we will improve health of children in the camp. We have soft drinks, clean packed water and biscuits to eat during our practice and we hope we will enjoy the program, we would like to say thanks to Pam Donkin for planting seeds of Love in us”

The program will run initially for a period of one month and upon its results and impact, we hope to get more support to keep the program running. “The quest for peace is a continuous process and we believe this program will grow on,” The Director of I CAN South Sudan Mr. Stephen Wandu Bimo said. “We plan to distribute the seeds of love and peace to all South Sudan Refugees in Uganda through free donation of our seedlings to households in refugee camp and expect the children message for peace to reach out to all South Sudan communities in Uganda.” We would wish to expand this program by planting trees to replace trees cut by refugees as firewood and also as appreciation to the government of Uganda for hosting us.” he continued

“The Charity is now serving 20 unaccompanied South Sudan Refugees Children in Bidibidi Zone 1 who come from different warring tribes of South Sudan. We have produced a music album for the children on peace, love, unity and reconciliation plus one video which can be found on our website www.icansouthsudan.com  We look forward to shoot videos for the remaining songs if we get funding, open peace club in schools to engage refugee children and youth to discuss about peace and reconciliation among the warring tribes of South Sudan, have a media forum for children to air their views in the peace building, engage children in sports activities, build capacity of the children and their guardians through trainings in business oriented technical skills to prepare them for beginning new life in South Sudan when repatriated and  we would like to organize free concerts on Peace in refugee camps in Northern Uganda to disseminate message of peace” Stephen Wandu Bimo disclosed. 

Mr. Stephen Wandu Bimo further said the charity has already submitted their project for this year to some donors awaiting their response and continue to seek partnership and sponsorship from other organizations; hence they are calling for more support so that they can be able to disseminate and build Peace in Refugee Camps in Uganda

I CAN South Sudan is a Refugee Led Community Based Organization started in October 2017 by Refugee Youth Stephen Wandu Bimo, Seme Ludanga Faustino and Kyobutungi Angela a Ugandan by nationality who is passionate to support the refugee children. The aim is to engage unaccompanied South Sudanese refugee children in social and musical activities in order to heal the trauma of war and to spread a message of peace. Give the children a meaning, purpose, and hope for their lives, develop their skills in art and music for the future, and give them a creative voice through which to express their desire for peace in South Sudan.

The charity’s program includes musical coaching with an emphasis on group work, building individual confidence, and creating links of friendship between the children, who come from both sides of the tribal conflict in South Sudan.  Children are also taken on ‘treat’ outings together, to put a smile on their faces and to give them positive experiences outside of the refugee camp. The program also works to preserve the culture of South Sudan in the children so that they don’t grow totally in the new culture of Uganda.

Pam Donkin is a USA Nationally recognized family entertainer in concerts school districts, a community libraries, teacher workshops and recording. She is a veteran teacher and entertainer who have clear idea of what young children want and need from their musical experiences According to Fred Koch, Chicago Parent Magazine.

Pam has received 8 National Awards kids music award plus other web awards. Her music is licensed to several educational recordings and publications including Scholastic Inc. Her Video has been broadcasted on the Learning Channel

* The email will not be published on the website.