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Sheila Ponnie

Juba, South Sudan
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About Sheila
Sheila Ponnie Juba based journalist, born in South Sudan, graduate of Nkumba University in Entebbe. Began her journalism career as a news and programming intern/reporter with Radio Miraya, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, (UNMISS). She also hosted a nightly news and culture radio program on Radio One 89Today, she works as a freelance correspondent for (VOA) the Voice of America Network and (VOA) South Sudan in Focus, where she files video, radio and online reports from South Sudan, and East Africa, edited and broadcast from the VOA News Production Center in Washington, DC and London.

Through her career, Sheila has contributed to several local and international news organizations and NGOs, such as RFI, DPA news UNICEF, UNFPA, WFP and the Japanese, International, Cooperation Agency (JICA) among others.

Sheila also covers South Sudan's local news as a general assignment reporter, on issues of politics, women and girls health, environment and sports for The City Review South Sudan, a locally published, online news agency. 

She has been chosen to participate in several women in media and press freedom conferences - in Finland, Morocco, Uganda, Kenya, and Zambia, among others. Last year, Sheila was invited by the IGAD Center for Excellence, in Djibouti, to participate in a conference on "Journalism and Reporting to Counter Extremist Violence Messaging".

Sheila is also an active member of (AWIM), African Women in Media and (IWMF) International Women's Media Foundation
Languages
Arabic English Sundanese
Services
Video Package (Web / Broadcast) Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast)
+15
Skills
Business Politics Current Affairs
+11
Portfolio

Political violence in Sudan is forcing thousands of refugees, many of them children, to neighboring South Sudan for safety. There, they face a different threat — a collapsing health care system. Sheila Ponnie reports from Renk, Upper Nile State, South Sudan.

South Sudan’s Opposition Reject Election Laws

27 Mar 2024  |  voaafrica.com
Opposition parties in South Sudan have strongly criticized new electoral regulations, viewing them as an attempt to exclude them from the upcoming general election, which will be the first in the nation's history.

South Sudan's Transitional National Parliament has demanded the immediate removal of the Acting Mayor of Juba City Council Emmaunuel Khamis Richard within 72 hours. The MPs demand that the governor of CES should remove him from both positions of acting mayor and commissioner

God Bless You All. From Chukudum Town, in Budi County, Eastern Equatoria State, Happy Sunday.

U.S. declares aid cut and calls on RTGoNU to act. Speaking is Katherine Crawford, Mission Director for USAID South Sudan

Lab Labni:Village where trees connect mobile users to the world “There is no cell phone network here,” Steven, a resident told me when i met him under a baobab tree, struggling to communicate with someone on the other end of the line.#actual life, actual people

Read @ CityreviewJuba https://cityreviewss.com/how-adult-education-brings-back-lost-joy-in-western-bahr-el-ghazal/ How a 45-year-old father of 8 children sits attentively, taking every instruction from the teacher. Diing’s class is made up of students of all backgrounds. A local chief, women, and youth have all converged here to gain education

South Sudan Deploys First Unified Forces A process that was supposed to have been completed 3 years ago The first battalion of 1,000 soldiers will be deployed to Malakal #Unified forces #South Sudan

South Sudanese students with hearing impairment struggle throughout their educational journey. "The main obstacle we face is a language barrier,"

Follow-up on the deployment of NUF. The 750 deployed Necessary Unified Forces (NUF) have arrived at their destination today, having travelled by boat for seven days and nights to reach Tonja Upper Nile in South Sudan. The soldiers started their mission last week on 15

Japan and UNDP signed $5 million to fight SGBV cases in three States of South Sudan. Dr. Samuel Doe, UNDP Resident Representative, says the 5m will build 9 integrated livelihoods and socio-economic community centers in three states central, Eastern, and Western Equatoria.

South Sudan's Gov't seizes 17 tracks with goods that were brought into the country illegally @ Chairperson, South Sudan National Bureau of Standards Kuorwel Kuai .

Mundari Community Culture Festival in South Sudan People of all ages can develop a feeling of identity and belonging through culture, which can change large societies and improve small communities.

A legal professional lamented over the delays in judicial procedures and the lack of protection for witnesses by the judiciary.

Juba Teaching Hospital, the country’s largest healthcare provider, is grappling with a myriad of challenges that threaten to slow down its routine operations, The City Review has established.

05 Jan 2024  |  The City Review South Sudan
Juba Teaching Hospital in South Sudan is facing severe challenges, including salary arrears for medical personnel leading to a high turnover rate. Dr. Maker Isaac, the medical director, expressed concern over the loss of medical officers to NGOs and private hospitals offering better pay. Despite a 400 percent salary increase for civil servants, delays in payment persist, with some doctors not receiving salaries for several months. The hospital also struggles with a medicine shortage after the withdrawal of the Health Pooled Fund, which previously supplied 90 percent of the country's prescription medications and medical equipment. The hospital is now reliant on clinical officers and specialist consultants, and there is a critical need for intravenous medications. The National Assembly's Specialised Committee on Health and Population has called for increased government investment in healthcare. A clarification was issued regarding the correct name of the medical director, Dr. Maker Isaac.

Authorities in South Sudan say the East African nation is ready to host Pope Francis who is scheduled to arrive in Juba Friday and meet with leaders, diplomats and victims of unrest, which has left 2 million people displaced from their homes. For more on the preparations, VOA’s Sheila Ponnie speaks to authorities from the capital, Juba.

02 Feb 2023  |  Voice of America
South Sudan is preparing for the arrival of Pope Francis on Friday. The Pope is expected to meet with leaders, diplomats, and victims of the country's unrest, which has resulted in the displacement of 2 million people. Sheila Ponnie, a journalist from VOA, reports on the preparations from the capital, Juba, after speaking with local authorities. The visit is significant as it highlights the ongoing challenges faced by South Sudan, including political instability and humanitarian issues.

South Sudan’s president is appealing to the more than 2 million South Sudanese refugees living in neighboring countries to start returning home, vowing that the government will provide them with the necessary security.

23 Feb 2023  |  Voice of America
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has prioritized the repatriation of over 2.3 million South Sudanese refugees from countries like Kenya, Uganda, and Egypt. Kiir addressed the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Juba, promising government-provided security and logistical support for those returning home and land allocation for those unable to return to their original residences. The resettlement efforts come amidst ongoing political and economic challenges, with the 2018 peace accord not fully implemented and new displacements due to intercommunal violence. National parliament member James Kok emphasized the president's call for a year of reconciliation and forgiveness. Despite the efforts, the country continues to struggle with violence and has not experienced prolonged peace since its independence in 2011.

If Akobo had a synonym, it would be that secret place on earth hidden away from civilization. Maybe, if Akobo existed in the aquatic world, it would be the golden fish with no botanical name but still famous and revered, in the world under the seas and big oceans where light and oxygen are in limited supply but life is abundant nonetheless.

One beautiful Thursday morning, I awoke with an unsatiable urge to take a couple of snaps of a beautiful Kudura demo farm that I had seen the previous day.

Life in Jonglei State’s Akobo County is not for the faint-hearted, especially for the mothers and children who are at the precipice due to the surge in cases of malnutrition.

Barely three years ago, the residents of the four payams in Akobo County endured long and dangerous treks that would last up to four hours a day to reach a nearby healthcare facility for medical services.

Juba Teaching Hospital Struggles Amidst Salary and Medicine Shortages

05 Jan 2024  |  cityreviewss.com
Juba Teaching Hospital in South Sudan is facing severe challenges, including salary arrears for medical personnel leading to a high turnover rate. Dr. Maker Isaac, the medical director, expressed concern over the loss of medical officers to NGOs and private hospitals offering better pay. Despite a 400 percent salary increase for civil servants, delays in payment persist, with some doctors not receiving salaries for several months. The hospital also struggles with a medicine shortage after the withdrawal of the Health Pooled Fund, which previously supplied 90 percent of the country's prescription medications and medical equipment. The hospital is now reliant on clinical officers and specialist consultants, and there is a critical need for intravenous medications. The National Assembly's Specialised Committee on Health and Population has called for increased government investment in healthcare. A clarification was issued regarding the correct name of the medical director, Dr. Maker Isaac.

Why the government faces headache after commencing forces deployment

17 Nov 2023  |  cityreviewss.com
The South Sudanese government began deploying over 50,000 officers to Malakal, Upper Nile State, marking the first deployment since the nation's independence. Challenges such as unpaid salaries and resource constraints are being closely monitored by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in-Opposition (IO). Spokesperson Col Lam Paul Gabriel emphasized the importance of addressing these issues to maintain morale among the forces. Despite promises from the Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr Bak Barnaba, to start payments in August 2022, some forces, particularly those from SPLA-IO and SSOA, have not been paid. The deployment is a significant step in the country's military development.

Women account for 70 to 75 per cent of informal cross-border trade in Africa's sub-Saharan region. But, empowering the economic future of women in cross-border requires access to finances.

In response to accusations of child trafficking, the government has temporarily limited child adoptions in South Sudan.

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South Sudan has held a peace Olympics to help reconcile communities divided by conflict. The “Twic Olympics” this year marked its 20th anniversary in Twic County.

25 Jan 2022  |  www.voanews.com
South Sudan celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Twic Olympics in Twic County, aiming to foster reconciliation among communities affected by conflict. The event featured traditional Olympic and team sports, with over 700 athletes participating. It also addressed health issues like COVID, HIV, and waterborne diseases. The games are seen as a way to engage youth in positive activities and steer them away from conflict, with the hope of contributing to peace in the world's youngest country.

Old Fangak County in Jonglei state, remained one of the areas ravaged by violent floodwaters. As many seek refuge in drylands, some are left trapped in their circumstances; people with disabilities form part of this category.

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South Sudan military trainees, feel abandoned and forgotten,

Lack of reliable internet impacts musican's youtube options.

Eight years after South Sudan's independence, hunger continues to plague the world’s youngest nation. Sheila Ponnie reports from Malakal and Upper Nile South Sudan.

09 Jul 2019  |  www.voaafrica.com
Eight years after gaining independence, South Sudan is still facing severe hunger, with nearly half its population food insecure. Climate issues, economic instability, and ongoing conflict have led to displacement, with many relying on U.N. Protection of Civilians sites for food and safety. The World Food Program's complex operations are challenged by inaccessible areas during the rainy season. Despite a peace deal allowing food pre-positioning, the Minister of Agriculture emphasizes the need for self-sufficiency. Peace is seen as essential for returning to normal life by government officials, humanitarian workers, and displaced citizens.

Men4Women is a group of boys and men advocating policies that make sanitary hygiene products more accessible to girls. Sheila Ponnie reports from Juba.

22 Aug 2019  |  www.voanews.com
In South Sudan, Men4Women, a group of men and boys, is actively working to dismantle cultural taboos surrounding menstruation, which often result in young girls leaving school. The group is distributing menstrual pads and promoting dialogue among boys and men, as well as advocating for policies to improve the accessibility of sanitary hygiene products for girls.

Sheila Ponnie reports from South Sudan where, due to years of conflict and poor environmental conditions, malaria may be gaining a new foothold.

13 Sep 2019  |  www.voanews.com
While the world has made significant progress in eliminating malaria infection and death over the past decade, South Sudan is experiencing a potential resurgence of the disease. Contributing factors include years of conflict and poor environmental conditions. The World Health Organization has noted that progress in some regions has slowed.

Wheelchair basketball is growing in popularity in South Sudan, offering hope for athletes with disabilities, some of whom lost legs from unexploded ordnance left from decades of conflict.

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