Pastor Loice Juan 53 years old, also known as Mama Gurei is one of The Rescue Initiative South Sudan’s frontline social mobilizers on COVID-19 in Gurei area a suburb of Juba. Every day, she moves from house to house, provides training sessions in small groups as well as making announcements on the streets and markets.
Pastor Loice and her family fled to Khartoum during the 21-years conflict, upon her return to Juba in 2010, she established a church in Gurei to preach the word of God to change the minds and souls of the people.
Even though she only studied up to primary six, she is using her God given skills to make a difference in the society. She said, “God called me to work to improve the lives of the communities to live in peace and healthy.”
In addition to her Pastoral work, she was a volunteer mobilizing communities and reporting on child protection and Gender Based Violence. With the outbreak of COVID-19, she was recruited by The Rescue Initiative as a social mobilizer to create awareness on the dangers and measures to prevent COVID-19.
“I love my work because am giving back to the communities, am teaching them how to protect themselves from the highly infectious disease (COVID-19). Our only strength is prevention, so we must put all our efforts to containing the spread.” She added.
“I visit between 10 to 15 families a day in addition to streets announcements, it is challenging because I walk on foot and it is too hot, but the important thing is the change in the lives and behaviors of the people.” She added
“My biggest challenge in my work during the current situation of COVID-19 pandemic is that when I go from house to house people are asking for food. The tells me, we are told to stay at home they cannot do their usual activities to raise money for food. We are hungry we need food which I don’t have. Also, majority of the people cannot afford to buy a bucket and soap for hand washing and sanitizers.” She said
To her personally, the work is rewarding, “This work has changed my life, I used to have 3 of my children out of school because I couldn’t afford to pay their school fees but with the incentives am getting from this work, I am now able to send them to school and If I get an opportunity, my plan is to go back to school so that I can learn how to read and write in English.” She further said
The Rescue Initiative is currently running COVID-19 awareness campaign in Central Equatoria state Funded by UNICEF South Sudan.