Shalom Life | April 24, 2014

IsraAID Welcomes the 4th Plane of 135 Returnees from Israel in South Sudan

17 of 135 Returnees were born in Israel

By: News Staff

Published: July 16th, 2012 in News » World

IsraAID Welcomes the 4th Plane of 135 Returnees from Israel in South Sudan
On July 12th at approx 8:15, a fourth plane of returnees from Israel landed in Juba, South Sudan - just two days after the newborn country celebrated its s first year of independence. The 135 returnees were welcomed at the airport by a crowd of enthusiastic relatives and friends, the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC), the South Sudanese Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs as well as the International Israeli Aid Agency, IsraAID, who provided guidance, food and water to the newly-arrived returnees.

17 of the 135 returnees were born in Israel. The largest family on the flight consists of a single mother with her 6 children.

An official representative from the South Sudanese Ministry for Humanitarian Affairs told IsraAID's team on the ground: "Its good that the republic is collecting its own people all over, so that they can come and build the nation. South Sudan is for us to build whoever has skills and knowledge to use for building South Sudan is welcomed to look for a position, a job, so that they can apply those skills to build the republic".

One of the returnees, a 14 year old girl, who grew up in Arad said in flawless Hebrew: "I'm happy to be back in South Sudan, its my country, but it isn't Israel-I'm not used to it here. The Bananas and the cookies are better in Israel.”

Ophelie Namiech, IsraAID's South Sudan Country Director said: "IsraAID is currently conducting a need assessment to analyze the possibility of including the South Sudanese returnees from Israel into its programs on the ground, and developing new projects to accompany the returnees in their professional and social reintegration process for them to be able to efficiently contribute to the nation-building and development process of their new country."

IsraAID has been present in South Sudan since the independence a year ago implementing both humanitarian and long-term development programs in close partnerships with the Ministry of Social Development of Central Equatoria State and local community-based organizations.

In particular, IsraAID has been focusing and developing training programs to build the capacity of the 90 social workers recently hired by the Ministry of Social Development as well as key service providers - such as the police, church leaders, community leaders and teachers - who work on daily basis to address the most pressing social challenges of the Juba region, especially Gender-based violence (GBV), human trafficking and child abuse.


IsraAID's Gender Based Violence program in South Sudan are supported by the Ted Arison Family Foundation and the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.

The training programs essentially focus on basic delivery of social services, GBV, child protection and post-trauma assistance. IsraAID also offers small-scale vocational training projects for the most vulnerable communities - especially women and youth.

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