War Survivor Became Entrepreneur in Leer

Martha Nyalel, Owner of Restuarant in Leer town, Unity States speaking to Journalist during International Women day

My husband died after having two children. After his death, I was supported by my two brothers. Unfortunately, during the war, my two brothers helped me kill on the same day”.

Anxiety emerged, and landslide tears could not stop rolling on the eyes of female war survivor Martha Nyalel Gatluak who was a victim during six years political crisis between parties to the Revitalize Peace Agreement.

A shock memory has engulfed her mind; words could hardly come out of her mouth. Her eyes positively reflect dark memory. The war victim has decided to speak out publicly about her agony experience, which Nyalel turned into an opportunity that ended emotional sadness and vulnerability.

The International Women day celebrated on March 8th has boosted her moral obligation to share such solidarity with women who were the victims in society and educated colleagues about her personal experience.

She related Women Day as a symbol of joy to fight females’ dignity, inequality, and memorizing of worse humiliation in society, which undermine their participation in the community decision-making process.

 Nyalel, the mother of four children, was a resident of Leer County. She has been displaced from her home in Leer to Mier Island during the conflicts and her property destroyed. 

Martha faced first-time hardship with her children, staying on an island without adequate medical care and food to eat. Their lives become so tricky. They always survived on leaves of the trees, waterlily, and earned a little money from cooking tea on the island. 

 War survivors saw life become insincere after her husband died, and her two brothers supported her and killed them during the conflict. After her brothers’ death, Nyalel began developing psychological trauma. 

Because she is the rational woman who is an optimist to build her children’s future, Martha changed her dreadful thoughts and taxed her to think positively instead of keeping dead memory in her mind. 

After the Revitalize Agreement signatory on September 12th, 2018, she becomes a situation changer when the war calms down. She decided to do some small business to support her children. 

With her passion and personal commitment to business activity, she approached the nation NGO known as Hope Restoration, which gave her 1500 South Sudanese to establish a tea business. GBV officer approved such company for Camp Coordination and Camp management.

She also received two cooking suspend ten plates, 20 spoons, two tables eight chairs to do her business. Martha says that with these items given, her business had boomed in the shortest time and built a small restaurant. 

After the business grows, now she has employed three women and one man in her restaurant that earned her monthly income. She believed her life has changed from sadness to happiness. Now her children are studies in Kakuma refugees’ camp in Turkana County of Northern Kenya.

We were traumatized during the conflict. When you heard that soldiers were coming, you preferred to commit suicide before killing yourself. We thought that what will be the end of this conflict? Because we believed that this situation would never end. The situation was so critical, and we believe badly.

She blamed females’ humiliation and inequality in society. Women say they were facing discriminatory gender inequality include girls’ forced marriage, domestic violence, sexual and emotional buses, rapping, and female genital mutilation.

Hope Restoration GBV assistant officer Nyakuey Riak Mathoat appreciated her hard work. She says her diligent attitude was good signal other people should embrace. 

On March 8th, during the International Women Day commemoration, South Sudan Association demanded womanhood protection and a nondiscriminatory amendment to end gender impunity.

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