Who Is Madam Mary Ayen Mayardit?
Born Ayen Vasili Dimitry Yalouris in Luonyaker, Warrap State, South Sudan. During the era of 1983, she joined the liberation struggle of SPLA/SPLM, as a freedom fighter and member of the women’s armed wing of Katiba Cheetah, where she organized and mobilized women and youth throughout Ethiopia, Kenya and all regions of Sudan. In her pursuit of freedom and justice for all Southern Sudanese, she met her husband His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, the President of the Republic of South Sudan,during the twenty-one year civil war, where they wedded and started their young family.
Her Excellency, Madam Mary Ayen Mayardit, became the spouse of the First Vice President of Sudan in 2005 after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), and officially became the First Lady of the Republic of South Sudan on July 9th, 2011. As the First Lady, Her Excellency works at the national level for peace and reconciliation by engaging all citizens at the grass root level from diverse backgrounds and communities to dialogue with one another in order to bring harmony amongst the citizens of the Republic of South Sudan.
In 2006, Her Excellency founded and established her foundation named: Concern for Women and Children Organization. (CWC), (which has been recently rename to Concern South Sudan, empowering women and youth (CSS)),a non-governmental organization that diligently works to empower women and youth throughout the Republic of South Sudan by providing programs and social services to all communities; through partnerships with grass root community organizations, women, youth and faith groups, as well as traditional leaders and local and national non-governmental organizations. She works to promote policy framework and programs that encourage integrated national advocacy for women and child rights and gender inclusive approach to education, leadership and adult literacy programs for women and young mothers.
Her passion for women and children’s health has her advocating for increased awareness on the pandemic of HIV and AIDS affecting women and adolescent youth throughout sub-Sahara Africa and particularly in South Sudan, by developing and implementing HIV/AIDS awareness programs throughout the country. Through this initiative she has been able to mobilize resources and contribute to the development of an action plan in building the capacity in the health sectors predominantly towards women’s health, in the area of maternal, neonatal and child health, as an effort towards the managing and elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDs and reducing the maternal, neonatal and child mortality rate in South Sudan.
As a member of the Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD), she works tirelessly to advocate her national agenda in the OAFLAD forum while unifying the program components of women, children, human rights advocacy, HIV/AIDS prevention, maternal and child health and education for all citizens of the Republic of South Sudan, with her accountabilities as a representative and member state.
Her Excellency, Madam Mary Ayen Mayardit, persistently promotes a united, democratic, peaceful and prosperous society; and stands to mitigate suffering, injustice and poverty by empowering women and supporting youth to build a secure, productive and enriched political and socio-economic environment.