Extreme events, including natural disasters and intercommunal violence, over the past decades in Abyei have left visible destruction in their wake. The burned houses of the displaced, the barren fields where crops used to grow, the battered bodies of survivors all can be seen, healed, and given medical attention.
But what about the damage that cannot be seen? What about the difficulty sleeping, managing emotional responses, problem solving, or trusting others that plague survivors? These “invisible wounds” find their way into all projects and affect intended outcomes in immeasurable ways.
The “invisible wounds” may keep people from attending meetings regularly and they may hinder individuals from taking risks or thinking long-term

Today, however, efforts towards cohesion and integration are considered complicated and ineffective in the face of recurring violence, whether ethnic skirmishes or locally and regionally bred extremism.
Reconciliation measures are generally aimed at elites for political expediency, and there are few local efforts that target communities. They are also often not widespread enough to create meaningful change and not integrated with national efforts.
The fact that individuals, clans and special interest groups want to integrate into the larger South-Sudanese society and live in peace, but cannot resolve or speak to these differences, reflects the failure of these efforts.

The Arise & Shine grassroots social healing programme works with local trainers to facilitate community-based dialogue groups. These are led by community volunteers over the course of 12 weeks.
The groups are facilitated as circle processes and seek to foster individual and community healing by attending to perceived or existing grievances and injustices that have affected communities across the country: issues that have rendered individuals helpless and fearful of their local authorities.
Their trust was destroyed, and communities were left fragmented and suspicious of each other. This inhibits their ability to rebuild their communities and become resilient in the face of adversities and conflicts.
Arise and Shine sets a solid foundation for community facilitators to work on social healing and is focused on helping communities and individuals who identify as victims to break out of the cycle of violence and “be a resource for peace”

Communities and leaders in Abyei benefit from this programme by creating spaces that foster real dialogue within fragmented communities. It helps them confront the past and injustices in safe and empowering settings that increase both self and collective awareness and resilience.
The program will also help reconstruct channels of communication among communities in conflict, allowing people to live harmoniously and empathise with each other’s experiences.
These social bonds will create structures that will help individuals and communities creatively find solutions and alternatives to present and future problems within themselves and in partnership with the local authorities and law enforcement.

The Arise & Shine grassroots social healing programme works with local trainers to facilitate community-based dialogue groups. These are led by community volunteers over the course of 12 weeks.
The groups are facilitated as circle processes and seek to foster individual and community healing by attending to perceived or existing grievances and injustices that have affected communities across the country: issues that have rendered individuals helpless and fearful of their local authorities.
Their trust was destroyed, and communities were left fragmented and suspicious of each other. This inhibits their ability to rebuild their communities and become resilient in the face of adversities and conflicts.
Arise and Shine sets a solid foundation for community facilitators to work on social healing and is focused on helping communities and individuals who identify as victims to break out of the cycle of violence and “be a resource for peace”