“Having joined the VHT team at first I didn’t realize the impact of my presence. Little did I know that my redundant skill in construction would contribute to my well being and the common good of the entire sub county members.”
Mr. Mori James , a 25 years old former mason who became a VHT, originates from a family of 16 children.This made it hard for the parents to provide quality education for them due to lack of school fees. Having completed primary seven, James joined Belimeling vocational center from where he completed a course as a mason in 2012. By 2013, due to the booming business in construction in South Sudan, he moved in order to make money and start his own life. In early January 2016, Faced with high cost of living that discouraged savings, coupled with the wars that ensued, James was forced to return home. The low opportunity in construction at home rendered him jobless and life became hard. James got lured into joining peer groups that were engaged into gambling to earn a living. Due to the reckless life that he was living, the people of his village decided to help him. He was appointed as a village health team member so he would have a goal in life. Though to him sanitation issues were never a concern since what mattered the most to him was how to make a living. He was identified during a parish level sanitation committee capacity building meeting aimed at equipping them with open defecation free parameters in an attempt to motivate people to undertake sanitation as a business. James took up the call and started to learn about how to improve squat areas. Together with other villagers he was connected to a cement supplier through PALM Corps in order to be able to buy larger quantities of cement at a lower price. In addition, PALM Corps provided him with Satopans and empty small jerry cans. With all the necessary knowledge and equipment he started to build his business and he did that with great success.
Today James is self-employed as a Village young sanitation entrepreneur (YSE) by improving the facilities of households. He has co-opted other young entrepreneurs and developed their capacities as well as shared knowledge with Uriama YSEs. Their commitment and passion led in turn to a marked improvement. Dufile Sub County boasts of having a 100% latrine coverage with 85% improved washable squatal areas including tight fitting drop hole covers. 90% have functional tippy taps as hand washing facilities. Through all of that, all villages could be formerly declared ODF and furthermore a general decline in related diseases could be measured.