Pieces: Choosing Peace In The Rebuilding Of Our Lives

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So, the situation may look a bit volatile at the moment. There is a lot of conflict among communities. For us, we're not even looking so much at the conflict between South and North Sudan, we're looking at the conflicts within the same tribes or even the same tribe, for example the Dinka. Their clans do a lot of fighting over resources.

Pasture lands, they need grazing grounds, they need water, and there are a lot of cattle raids across the borders. How have the Dinka people been affected by the decades of displacement and civil war and what impact does that have on the current situation? The many years of civil war obviously did destroy the social fabric of the people of South Sudan in that the war didn't give them the opportunity to grow their economy.

It destroyed their social structures, how they govern themselves, their animals, their crops, their local economy. Currently, they are trying to rebuild their lives from scratch.


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We're talking about a place where they had no infrastructure, no roads, no hospitals, no schools. They had no capacity to respond to natural disasters like drought. And now what VSF Germany does is to look at how do we enhance, how do we encourage people to build their social assets so they can move forward.

For the communities of South Sudan - and not just for the Dinka people - the animals are the core piece of their livelihood structures. It's everything - from their social status to their economic status. Any household that does not have animals finds it very difficult to feed its people. We have a number of projects in South Sudan, but let me tell you about the one for Warrap state, which is funded by the EU.

This project focuses on improving their social assets so that they have the capacity to initiate their own food security programs like livestock, agricultural production, encouraging rural finance - we call it micro finance. But most important is the capacity-building aspect of it, ensuring that the local government - which is new - has the capacity to offer services to its citizens as spelled out in the interim constitution of South Sudan.

In these programs, we work very closely with the local government and local partners, but also with the local traditional leaders. Because over the years, VSF Germany discovered, unless you work with the traditional mechanisms, you will not introduce anything new. You will not encourage the community to take up new technologies unless you respect first and foremost what they already have and built on it. But there seems to be a lot more aggression now in the communities you work with, particularly from young men. They don't really respect traditional chiefs anymore. Why is that and how do you try to help young men find their place again?

There are those young people who remained in South Sudan and their lives revolve around cattle camps. And there are those young people who moved out of South Sudan during the war as refugees and they had opportunities to study abroad or across the border. Now they are coming back and they look at resources differently. The ones who remained are still looking at the cattle - it's only the cattle they know - whereas the ones who came back are looking at improvements in the NGOs, improvements in the government, or small businesses which they learned in the refugee camps.

An animal is sacrificed during a reconciliation ceremony to end a dispute between members of the tribe. Now we are talking about young people in the cattle camps not respecting their traditional leaders or not respecting their chiefs. They are seeing themselves as forgotten. Everything's moving forward, new things are coming up.

For jobs, once you didn't need education and for them, they don't have education.


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  8. And now, they have to find a way to survive - and the way to survive is to look at how they can increase their herds of cattle and of course through raiding. And young men are seeing that the chiefs are responding more to the government than to their needs. They are trying to fight the new way of life. And of course, the old way of life is the one for the majority. So there is a struggle between those who've returned who were educated abroad and the ones who stayed in South Sudan?

    Yes, because during the war, they were promised that when peace comes, when independence comes, they will have opportunities to improve their lives. And now, independence has come, but independence has come with another way of life.

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    Imagine someone who has been in war for 25 years, the only thing the person has known over those years is a gun, is about raiding cattle. And now, all of a sudden, you are telling this person to put down the gun? We try to show them that it's not only the animal - there are other ways to make a living. We work with the government, and we really encourage the ministry of education to offer alternative education like vocational training.

    So your organization tries to include those young men with education so that they will find their place again in society? It's about offering opportunities to the South Sudanese who are returning. So it's to ensure that the returning youth have something to do, but also ensure that the youths who were in the camps, who are the real forgotten youths, they find space in the new environment by acquiring a certain skill like carpentry, machinery, so that everybody feels on board.

    It's difficult to quantify the impact, but obviously, if you take a walk, you see the impact which we, our projects, have brought to the people of South Sudan. And we do not take this credit alone. Sometime after that, he was hired by a PC software company, earning a good salary and commission—until he got fired. The point is that you, too, can overcome whatever obstacles are in your way. And you can even find yourself in a better place. All you have to do is develop the right strategies.

    But first, you need to realize something very important. But you need both the peaks and the valleys in order to keep moving forward. The ups remind you where you want to go, and the downs push you to get there. If you look closely at Dr. Here are five actionable things you can do right now to help you overcome your setbacks, roadblocks, and defeats—so you emerge victorious on the other side.

    One of the very first things you want to do is give yourself time to process what happened. How much time should you take?


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    7. But whatever you do. In The Obstacle Is the Way , Ryan Holiday shares how the first American astronaut to orbit the earth, John Glenn, spent almost an entire day in space making sure his heart rate never went over beats per minute. Millman uses the example of babies learning to walk to highlight how powerful this concept can be. More importantly, is that how you want to live the rest of your life? Of course not. He does little things like meditating twice a day and becoming closer to family.

      Ferriss says he basically cuts himself some slack but still pushes forward so that, in the end, he winds up ahead. This means considering the actions you can take to help you overcome whatever obstacle is in your way. Could you ask for an extension so you can put more time into your work and make it higher quality? What about requesting more tools to help you do your job effectively? Wharton professor and best-selling author Adam Grant shares that, in life, failure comes in two ways: your actions and your inactions.

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      Thus, taking these five actions can hopefully lead you to feel less regret in the long run. When life knocks you down, get back up. And when it knocks you down again , get back up again. An expanded version of this article originally appeared on Buffer.

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      It is adapted and reprinted with permission. By Chris Winfield long Read. A few weeks ago, one of my students posted this in my Facebook mastermind group emphasis mine :. Why—and what was the difference? The Different Types Of Obstacles We Face Although setbacks, roadblocks, and defeats are all obstacles standing between where you are now and where you want to be, each one represents a different level of challenge.

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      Setbacks Happen To Everyone—Even Really Successful People Every successful person, the ones we tend to look to for inspiration in our own lives, has faced their fair share of setbacks before, during, and after achieving something great. Give Yourself Time One of the very first things you want to do is give yourself time to process what happened. Put another way: Realize that the situation is what it is, accept it, and move on.