By Francis Banychieng Jor,
Dear Rita Lopidia,
Sep 23, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Congratulations on receiving the USIP’s Women Building Peace Award, 2020. Through your zeal, commitment and passion for service you have exemplified the spirit of empathy and worked towards making the community a better place to live. I join your family, friends, the entire United States Institute of Peace fraternity, the South Sudan nationals and all women in commending you for accepting the challenge of community service. For a long time, you have creatively and relentlessly committed to working towards peace, telling stories and using the power of a woman to achieve peace at times when conflict seems to be the order of the day in our communities. It is my hope, and of the many, that you will continue to be a source of inspiration and enthusiasm to our world and our community in particular, as you continue to make service a priority in your life.
The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) is tasked with promoting conflict resolution and preventing all forms of conflict across the world. The organization helps in providing research, analysis, and incredible training to personalities involved in acts of mediation, diplomacy and are engaged in activities that promote and build peace. It is most active in zones where there are conflicts and has over the years, committed resources to building academic and policy fields for managing conflict and building peace. In order to achieve its goals and objectives, USIP works with governments and civil societies in building and equipping local capacities to achieve a peaceful process of conflict management. The organization has been active in Sudan previously, where its staff traveled to some of the more unstable regions to prepare the people ahead of the 2010 national elections. Prior to those elections, Sudan had not been in elections in over two decades. Such was their understanding of the need for educating the Sudanese people on managing conflict and building friendships for peaceful co-existence.
The organization embodies your vision of advancing strategies that prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict. The award is a testament that your efforts have not gone unrecognized, but many people are watching, following and ready to hold your hand should any kind of support be needed. In my experience with USIP in the capacity of a youth leader, the award opens a myriad of opportunities, which are beneficial in propelling your agenda for peace in South Sudan. With such a pedestal, it is my belief that you will maximize the many opportunities that come your way to improve the community of the South Sudanese people, who continue to live unpredictably due to the history of conflict amongst them. It is of great significance that you do not slow down or stop what you started. It is through you, the measures you implement, and the mechanisms you undertake which will propel people into living in peace and building long-lasting relationships.
Lastly, you have exceptional power to convene and bring together different people and audiences. Use them to exchange knowledge and ideas, which will be useful in developing solutions that will bring long-lasting peace to conflict and security challenges. The world needs peace more than ever before, and more so, South Sudan desperately needs a long-lasting solution to its challenges. You have been privileged, through your passion and resources to be able to drive change. The family is behind you. The friends are behind you. The people of South Sudan are behind you. Everyone is behind you. I wish you the best of success in your efforts, and may our good God reward you accordingly.
Francis Banychieng Jor, former youth leader at The U.S. Institute of Peace. For more information, you can reach the author through email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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