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The Youth Peacemaker Network will nurture a new generation of leaderscommittedto reconciliation and conflict prevention. Participating youth fromSouthSudan’s 10 States will be trained by local and international experts inconflictresolution, leadership, peace and community building as well asmediationskills. These youth will forge peaceful, non-violent relationships withtheirpeers as they work together with their communities, engage with youthnation-wide, receive mentoring and training in business skills to promoteattractivelearning and skills-based opportunities.
“Reconciliation is a slow process, and it often takes as much time to getout ofa conflict as it took to get in one,” said Forest Whitaker. “That’s why itis soimportant to work with youth to promote the significance of education,personalempowerment and leadership to build peaceful conflict resolution skills andtechniques.”
With 72 percent of the South Sudanese population under the age of 30, apeacefulfuture for the country is in the hands of the young. “Peace is anenablingfactor for the development and prosperity of South Sudan and to thebuilding ofa national identity, said Mr. Salah Khaled, UNESCO Juba’s Head of Office.”It isessential to empower young people and train them with the skills they needto betomorrow’s leaders.”
The program will use the field expertise of its key partners. UNESCO Jubawillfacilitate the secure access of youth living in remote areas. Ericsson willprovide mobile broadband connectivity, computers, and mobile phones fromSonyMobile, alongside basic ICT and social media training and tools forconnectingteachers and students through the global education initiative Connect ToLearn.Ericsson will provide on-site project management resources, Wi-Fi coverage,andthe Ericsson cloud computing solution to support the program.
In support of its belief that mobile connectivity is a tool of empowermenttobuild peace and a positive agent of change, Zain will provide internetaccessvia 35 mobile broadband dongles with capacity of 1GB per month, as well asmobile phone SIM cards for program participants.
Mr. Cirino Hiteng Ofuho, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, saidaboutthe project, “The fact that young people will have a place to learn andpracticecomputer skills and communicate with youth from different States andcounties,will provide them with future opportunities while also buildingtheirrelationships and breaking down some of the misunderstandings whichlead toconflict in the first place.”
The Youth Peacemaker Network will begin its initial roll-out byholding itsfirst training for young women and men from Jonglei. The training willtakeplace from 12-15 December 2012 at UNESCO Juba, and will coverconflictresolution, leadership, peace and community building, and mediation skills.
Over the next two years, the program will expand to include South Sudan’sothernine States and will continue to support the long-term capacitydevelopment ofthe youth as well as providing mentoring and business skills topromoteattractive alternative learning and skills-based opportunities for youth.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About Forest Whitaker:
Award winning artist, Humanist and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, ForestWhitakerhas dedicated most of his time to extensive humanitarian work. In 2011, hewasnamed UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Peace and Reconciliation for hispersonaldedication and work in the field of conflict resolution and his commitmenttopromote humanitarian ideals. He founded the Los Angeles based PeaceEarthFoundation in 2012, and in partnership with Rutgers University, he co-founded ofthe International Institute for Peace under the auspices of UNESCO. In 2007hereceived the Cinema for Peace Award for his selfless and ongoing advocacyforchild soldiers, as well as his work with inner-city youth. He was alsoawardedthe Humanitas Prize in 2001. Currently, he serves as a spokesperson for theUgandan child soldier orphanage Hope North, and is a board member of thePresident’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH). For moreinformation, join the conversation ForestWhitaker.
About PeaceEarth Foundation:
About UNESCO Juba:
UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the building of peace in the mindsof menand women. UNESCO Juba is working together with the Ministry of Culture,Youthand Sport and the Ministry of General Education and Instruction, tointegratepeace building into educational planning and delivery. The Office’sprioritiesinclude increasing literacy rates, promoting lifelong learning,mobilizingscience knowledge and policy for sustainable development, addressingsocial andethical challenges, fostering cultural diversity, intercultural dialogueand inbuilding an inclusive knowledge society through information andcommunication.
About Connect To Learn:
Ericsson is the world’s leading provider of communications technology andservices. We are enabling the Networked Society with efficient real-timesolutions that allow us all to study, work and live our lives more freely,insustainable societies around the world.
Our offering comprises services, software and infrastructure withinInformationand Communications Technology for telecom operators and other industries.Todaymore than 40 percent of the world’s mobile traffic goes through Ericssonnetworks and we support customers’ networks servicing more than 2.5 billionsubscribers.
We operate in 180 countries and employ more than 100,000 people. Founded in1876, Ericsson is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2011 the company’snetsales were SEK 226.9 billion (USD 35.0 billion). Ericsson is listed onNASDAQOMX, Stockholm and NASDAQ, New York stock exchanges.
About Sony Mobile Communications:
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Source: Ericsson via Thomson Reuters ONE