Sewing Projects Strengthen South Sudanese Families

October 3, 2023 • South Sudan
Riek Kuok is learning to make a living learning to sew through our livelihoods program in South Sudan.

Livelihoods training programs give displaced families a new start as they return home.

Livelihood and Vocational Projects

Riek Kuok was forced from his home in Pagak, South Sudan, nearly seven years ago due to armed conflict that flared up in the area. Along with many others, Riek settled in a camp along the Ethiopia border. Just two years ago, he finally returned to the region where he’d been a farmer and a local cup-winning soccer player.

While he was away, his beloved home had changed. When he returned, he had no money or other resources. A number of the people he knew before leaving had not returned to their homes. He was at a loss for how to get started again.

Riek Kuok provides sewing and tailoring services for his village and surrounding area.

Riek Kuok provides sewing and tailoring services for his village and surrounding area.

Then he was connected with Samaritan’s Purse.

New Opportunities Arise Back Home

Samaritan’s Purse has been working in South Sudan for a long time, and our teams have experience and expertise in helping families resettle and rebuild their communities after conflict. This often involves helping men and women establish promising small business ventures.

Today, Riek, 28, is one of a number of Pagak residents we’ve involved in our local livelihoods program, which provides training, equipment, and other resources to potential entrepreneurs.

We started him on a 25-day training program in tailoring, dressmaking, and other sewing skills. Riek caught on quickly and, through his growing skill, was able to start generating income.

Using sewing machines provided by our team—two in Pagak and two in Maiwut—Riek and other tailors and seamstresses have made enough income for themselves to help others with their financial needs. They are able to contribute to the ministry of the local church as well.

“I give all the glory to the Lord, and many thanks go to Samaritan’s Purse for providing us with tailoring machines and sewing skills,” Riek said. “These have positively impacted my household livelihood. Today, I have confirmed that my tailoring business will continue in the next year. I am no longer dependent on others for a living, I am able to accomplish my own goals. May God bless the work of Samaritan’s Purse.”

Women farming
Livelihood and Vocational Projects By improving farm and garden harvests, increasing the productivity of livestock, opening up access to markets, and providing training in business and job skills, we help households and communities make the transition from subsistence living to income generation, securing a better future.

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