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In the Acholi sub-region, Uganda, WPDI reinforces the capacity of young women and men as peacemakers and entrepreneurs

On 3-7 July, WPDI led a workshop in Gulu, Uganda, aimed at training young women and men from the Acholi sub-region aspiring to become community leaders. This was the second training in a yearly series of five, aiming at strengthening the second Ugandan branch of WPDI’s flagship program, the Youth Peacemaker Network (YPN). The objective of the YPN is to foster lasting peace and sustainable development in vulnerable conflict-affected areas through the empowerment of young women and men as both mediators and entrepreneurs.

To build this dual capacity, WPDI has designed a unique mix of holistic trainings including such key components as conflict resolution, ICTs, entrepreneurship and project management. The trainings also aim at building a capacity for our peacemakers to teach as Trainers of Trainees (ToTs), since they are expected to train other young people at the community level but also through our program on Conflict Resolution Education in primary and secondary schools, which we are currently developing in partnership with national and local authorities. Once trained indeed, these young peacemakers will go back to their communities where they will implement educational and economic activities with the support of WPDI. This practical dimension of the training is a strong motivation for the trainees, who are eager to make a difference in their communities, as was well expressed by Awanga Deogracious Livingstone (see his testimony below).

Taking into account that the workshop aims to establish a group of active and dynamic peacemakers, WPDI ensures that the training has a transformative impact on the trainees, notably in terms of self-awareness and self-confidence (see testimonies by ToTs Irene Lutwala and Benson). 

With a view to reinforcing the capacity of trainers to engineer peace in concrete contexts, the WPDI curriculum complements presentations on concepts of peace as well as human rights and vocational courses on ICTs and entrepreneurship, with sessions directly taught by our founder Forest Whitaker on life skills and meditation, based on our assumption that to achieve peace among communities, it is vital that peacemakers can first achieve inner peace.