Pastoralists in South Sudan are learning on the move

Pastoralists in South Sudan are learning on the move

28/02/2018

As transhumance communities, pastoral families in Eastern and Western Lakes States reside in cattle camps and migrate to different areas throughout the year to graze and water their livestock. Children and young people lack access to basic education, while adults receive no support to improve their livelihoods.

FAO partnered with UNESCO and South Sudan’s ministries of education, livestock and agriculture to strengthen the resilience of pastoral communities. Considering the importance of livestock to pastoralists’ lives, livelihoods, well-being and nutrition, an innovative education and livelihoods curriculum was developed for adults, young people and children. Based on the pastoral field school methodology, the approach focuses on strengthening practical skills and knowledge, reinforced by collaborative learning by doing.

To enable herders to obtain greater benefits from their resources, FAO is providing learning opportunities for communities as they move. This empowers pastoralists to have better control over their marketing chains, including numeracy skills to count and record cash earned and improve their negotiation skills. Pastoralists also learn about food safety standards to improve the hygienic handling and processing of milk, and how to better regulate their animals’ health.

Young people follow a formal school curriculum using an accelerated learning approach, integrated with topics on livestock management. Emphasis is placed on livelihoods diversification to take up business opportunities, and technology to help expand students’ perspectives beyond life in the cattle camp.