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Warrap town – A new radio station and vocational training centre have been launched in Warrap State to bolster peace, stability, agricultural, and livelihood initiatives in Greater Tonj, Warrap State.

The community radio station will provide a platform for airing messages about peace, rule of law, good agronomic practices, and other livelihood activities in the Greater Tonj area. Meanwhile, the Vocational Training Centre will provide knowledge and practical skills such as catering, tailoring, beauty and salon, masonry and brick making, with a starting clientele of 180 conflicted affected young people from across Greater Tonj.

Both initiatives are the product of the Kong Koc initiative, a consortium of six partners who work together with the community on conflict resolution and peacebuilding initiatives. The Kong Koc program is named after the traditional Dinka restraint mechanism for conflict resolution; Kong Koc loosely translates as “first, wait”.

“These facilities are part of peace dividends,” says Manheim Bol Malek, the Governor of Warrap state. “The youths should drop the habit of cattle raiding and concentrate on productive livelihood activities instead.”

The Kong Koc community radio station broadcasting on frequency 100.4 FM, will cover Greater Tonj and parts of Gogrial East, areas that have suffered decades of intercommunal conflicts with various unsuccessful efforts to address the conflicts.

“Our own radio is now here as a means of communicating among ourselves to unite us rather than the phone conversations used to manipulate people to fight among yourselves,” says Adut Akoc a women leader in Tonj North.

The young people taking part in initiatives at the Vocational Training Center will be linked to apprenticeship and job opportunities after their training is completed. They will also be provided start-up kits and encouraged to start their own small enterprises, thereby gradually shifting their mindsets toward the potential for livelihood opportunities rather than criminality as a means of economic survival.

Kong Koc is a two-year programme aiming to lay the foundation for peaceful, stable, and resilient communities in greater Tonj. It is implemented by a consortium of partners led by World Food Programme (WFP) and other partners such as the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), The Organization for Children’s Harmony (TOCH), Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and Peace Canal using a community-led peacebuilding approach. The programme is funded by the United Nations Trust Fund for Reconciliation, Stabilization, and Resilience (RSRTF).

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