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Brush strokes to earn a living

 

In 2011, Ernesto John Lika participated in a painting skills building training facilitated by the Capacity Building for post-Conflict Reintegration (CAPOR) project, implemented by Action Africa Help South Sudan. The project runs in western and Central Equatoria States. CAPOR is funded by Bread for the World.

 

After the training, and receipt of a startup kit (paints and paint brushes), Ernesto set up an art a kiosk, Sunrise Art Destiny, along Maridi-Juba road, where he prints T-shirts, sign posts, banners, bedsheets and cut stamps for government offices, business communities and other private entities. Ernesto is a member of Maridi Information Network Youth Association, a group which has just won the 2017 Juba Film Festival awards in South Sudan. 

 

He gets short contracts to offer art painting and designing for various clients, including Action Africa Help South Sudan projects in Maridi, where he uses local art technology to print and paint the artworks. Ernesto sells each art piece at 2,000 South Sudanese Pounds (USD $15). He makes about USD $230 per month when business is good.

 

 

CAPOR AAH South Sudan 

Ernesto John painting at maternal and child health department at Maridi Hospital 

 

 

 CAPOR AAH South Sudan

 Ernesto John painting at the paediatric ward at Maridi Hospital 

 

Ernesto plans is to expand his painting business and train other young people like him to join the profession. "My biggest challenge is getting raw materials. I usually have to source from Juba and Uganda. In addition, the hyperinflation in South Sudan has resulted in the cost of these materials to skyrocket. Despite all this, I am working hard to save up enough money to join the university."

 

From 2007, CAPOR project has trained more than 100 youth, both male and female, in vocational skills such as basic computer skills, driving and mechanic, tailoring, soap production and music production. The goal is suppot the youth to be self-reliant. CAPOR runs until 31 December 2017.

Inspiring story ahead of the World Refugee day.