Southern Sudanese Women’s Association

“Education is the key to our future; we stand tall and take action for our freedom”
God is our only hope

Office: 3212 S. 272nd Street Kent, WA. 98032

The Southern Sudanese Women’s Association was created on February 28th, 2000. This is a non-profit organization founded by a group of Southern Sudanese women who took the initiative to set up the agency based on Sudanese idea that if women are united and strong, the whole family will stand firm. As people who have faced war for more than 35 years, we are dedicated to taking the opportunity to begin new life in our new home by organizing ourselves in one unit under one God. Therefore, the Southern Sudanese Women’s Association was created to uplift the spirit of those who have been displaced by war and have lost family members in their native country. And perhaps giving our children the hope they need and also nurture ourselves spiritually and emotionally.

Mission statement:

To empower and unite Southern Sudanese Women and children through community involvement, such as educational projects and economic independence.

Currently more than 500 people and families served

  • Boys and girls ages between 8 and 25 (21 lost girls)
  • Minors in foster care programs
  • About 55 women
  • Single parents

Staff members/language available:

  • 9 non-paid employee are regularly working
  • 4 executive members (not paid) and other volunteers are irregularly working due to school or for other reasons
  • Primarily Arabic and English, however, other dialects spoken in Southern Sudan available such as Dinka, Bari, Latuka and Nuer (There are more than 500 dialects in Southern Sudan)

Educational programs

  • Coming-up Summer Events: weekend retreat for girls and women.
  • Awareness classes: health classes, sex education, parenting classes, social justice classes, personal rights.

Financial resources:

  • $10,000 grant from Women Funding Alliance: The agency has just got the funding for their first time to set up an office and to do retreats for women and children.
  • Currently office is not really set up: There is only one computer donated but working very slowly
  • No website: Looking for somebody who can set up for the agency!!!
  • Membership fee: Donation from members was how the agency was initially started.
  • Full member: payment is $250.00
  • Associate member: payment is $100.00

Outreach:

  • Making phone calls: Members in different area such as Everett, Tacoma and Seattle are in charge of each area.

Culture/Character of agency:

Traditional Southern Sudanese culture: trying to maintain the culture. Part of objective is to maintain the culture: the culture that young people respect the elders and the elders respect young people. When there is a conflict, it will seem to be carried out in a way that people sit down and talk about it. The agency basically seeks for traditional counseling. For example when you have a problem with husband, traditional counseling will be calling for elders around the family to come and listen to the problem and solve in healthy way. If your children are having misbehaviors, you can call your aunt.

Culture/character of staff members:

Mostly staff members are from Southern Sudan. However, non-Southern Sudanese can become associate members and should pay the required fee.

Networking/Collaborative work

  • Working with IRC and other resettlement agencies to translate, to find out gaps in needs and services, and to help people understand cultural differences.
  • Working with World Relief, Catholic and Lutheran Social Services.
  • Working as mediator between agency/foster care and refugees.
  • Working with Non-Profit Assistance when problems come up. Calling them for advices and referrals
  • Working with Eastern African communities.
    Southern Sudanese Women’s Association

Gaps/Challenges in services and capacity building:

  • Finance!!!!: more grants needed to achieve goals and provide programs/services and to become mainstream and affective agency
  • Transportation: most people live far away. Hard to reach them and stay closer.
  • Irregularly staffing

Future goals/plan

  • To have community center for Sudanese people
  • To strengthen and maintain Southern Sudanese community and culture through various events and activities
  • To help children and women in the refugee camps by empowering and enabling them become self-reliant
  • To provide job training, housing assistance, and English classes for Southern Sudanese Women and Girls
  • To make network easier by getting in touch with various resettlement agencies so that when they resettle somebody, they can refer the person easily
  • Hearts of the Angels formed under Southern Sudanese Women’s Association: objective to implement HIV/AIDS awareness in the Sudan and refugee camps. Coordinator, Harriet Dumba who will be going to Southern Sudan this summer 2003, to collect data on HIV/AIDS and other STD diseases.

Contact:

14817 15th Ave. NE # 18 Shoreline, WA. 98155 | 206-367-6196

Chairperson: Agnes Oswaha
Secretary: Harriet Dumba
Information: Rose Athieno Maya
Advisor: Rosemary Nyambi

 

 
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