SOUTH SUDAN / BOR WOMEN DEMINERS

05-Dec-2023 00:02:47
In South Sudan, 122 women participate in mixed gender demining teams. UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / BOR WOMEN DEMINERS
TRT: 02:47
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGES: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 14 NOVEMBER 2023, BOR, SOUTH SUDAN
SHOTLIST
1. Various shots, deminers
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Chandia Tom Agnes, Deminer / Section Leader:
“Of course, [as] outside people, we may think this work is only for men, but that is wrong. As women, you can show people how we are performing in this field. [There are] few women, but they are stronger than the men. We are doing the work like you have seen. So, I decided to choose this field because I personally sacrificed myself to remove these landmines out from South Sudan so that our people stay free from land mines and unexploded ordnance.”
3. Various shot, deminers working
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Chandia Tom Agnes, Deminer / Section Leader:
“In my village, I lost my cousins brother because he [had to have an] amputation on the leg, with too much blood [loss]; then he lost his life. Also, my sister's son died of landmines, also in our village.”
5. Various shots, deminers in the field
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Chandia Tom Agnes, Deminer / Section Leader:
“When we are given task to do clearance, someone will come there and say this is my land. He's stopping us and harassing us as we want to grab the land. But our work is not to grab the land. Our work is do the clearance and we move out. We want the people to be safe from the area which has been contaminated by unexploded ordnance.”
7. Various shots, Chandia
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Chandia Tom Agnes, Deminer / Sector Leader:
“My message to women outside there, there's nothing that this work is for men. Women are also strong in this field. They can come and join us so that we save the lives of people in South Sudan together with the men.”
9. Med shot, deminers in the field
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Chandia Tom Agnes, Deminer / Sector Leader:
"Every work is there for everyone."
11. Close-up, deminers in the field
STORYLINE
In South Sudan, 122 women participate in mixed gender demining teams.

In the heart of South Sudan, where communities are struggling to build a brighter future, an invisible threat hinders progress. Explosive hazards—remnants of conflict—block the path to essential services, preventing families from receiving necessary healthcare; humanitarians from delivering vital aid, and peacekeepers from protecting civilians who need their help the most.

But UNMAS and implementing partners work tirelessly to make the ground safe again, especially Agnes Chandia, one of 122 women who are part of mixed gender demining teams that brave all odds to remove these hazards.

SOUNDBITE (English) Chandia Tom Agnes, Deminer / Section Leader: “Of course, [as] outside people, we may think this work is only for men, but that is wrong. As women, you can show people how we are performing in this field. [There are] few women, but they are stronger than the men. We are doing the work like you have seen. So, I decided to choose this field because I personally sacrificed myself to remove these landmines out from South Sudan so that our people stay free from land mines and unexploded ordnance.”

Chandia, a mother of two, has been working in what can be seen as a traditionally male dominated field since 2007 and is a pioneer when it comes to women deminers in this young nation, starting out as a junior deminer toiling under hot skies to rid her country of these deadly reminders of brutal and bloody civil war.

SOUNDBITE (English) Chandia Tom Agnes, Deminer / Section Leader: “In my village, I lost my cousins brother because he [had to have an] amputation on the leg, with too much blood [loss]; then he lost his life. Also, my sister's son died of landmines, also in our village.

This multi-faceted Section Leader with an UNMAS implementing partner begins her day at 8 am, travelling to risk-prone areas along with her team. She is among a growing group of mothers in South Sudan who have decided to take on this dangerous role to shape a better future for their children. It’s not an easy job, she tells us.

SOUNDBITE (English) Chandia Tom Agnes, Deminer / Section Leader: “When we are given task to do clearance, someone will come there and say this is my land. He's stopping us and harassing us as we want to grab the land. But our work is not to grab the land. Our work is do the clearance and we move out. We want the people to be safe from the area which has been contaminated by unexploded ordnance.”

In the course of her career, Agnes has worked with numerous mine action actors, and has a powerful message for women and young girls.

SOUNDBITE (English) Chandia Tom Agnes, Deminer / Section Leader: “My message to women outside there, there's nothing that this work is for men. Women are also strong in this field. They can come and join us so that we save the lives of people in South Sudan together with the men Every work is there for everyone.”
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