Message From Founder
Bayak Chuol Puoch
Founder and Executive Director
In 2013, violence was so bad in South Sudan, it seemed like people were ready to hurt each other everywhere. Even in Egypt, in our South Sudanese community, where we were all already refugees from another war, it still seemed dangerous. The conflict also seemed preventable. When I talked to church leaders and community leaders, we agreed that only peacebuilding meetings could stop the violence in our community. These talks were emotional and healing. They prevented more violence from happening and inspired me to bring these peacebuilding tools to other South Sudanese communities. That is how NILECAPD was born. I traveled back to South Sudan on a peace mission in 2014, going village to village with members from multiple tribes. We spread the message that we can live in peace. In time we learned that peace in South Sudan needed to be built alongside sustainable community development, especially agricultural capacity building. We started these programs in 2017, alongside child protection and nutrition programming. United families, farming, and peace go hand in hand. The organization grew to a staff of seven and thirteen long-term volunteers.
When my family moved to Canada in 2018, I ran into a friend on the street from South Sudan. We had grown up together and he had studied to become an engineer. When I met him again in Canada, he was sleeping outside, with no reliable shelter for his children. This made me consider another version of peace needed for our people. In Canada, peace with our past is still important, but hope for the future is just as vital. South Sudanese people experiencing homelessness became a concern for me as I realized that those who have experienced trauma in South Sudan were falling through the cracks of the system in Canada. I also saw that their children were easy targets for gang recruitment, drug dealers, and human trafficking.
Thank you for your interest in NILECAPD which, at its heart, is a peacebuilding initiative for the South Sudanese people, and for me, a way to build hope together.
Bayak Chuol Puoch
Founder and Executive Director NILECAPD.