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Five schools from Juba, South Sudan, to disseminate a culture of peace

We are proud to announce that five schools from Juba, South Sudan, have now joined our program on conflict resolution for children and teenager. More than 100 pupils and students have already registered for the Peace Clubs at the schools of Juba Day, Supiri and Juba Commercial, with registrations ongoing at Rokon and Usratuna Basic.

Throughout the school year, these children and youth who registered into our Peace Clubs will attend weekly workshops taught by WPDI staff and youth leaders. The courses aim to increase the awareness of students on the values of peace and tolerance, but, most importantly, they invite them to practice attitudes and behaviors conducive to peace in their daily lives. In effect, this training has a transformative dimension that changes the outlook of students not just on peace, but also on the others and even on themselves. The program is in line the principles of the culture of peace concept heralded by UNESCO, of which our CEO/Founder is Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation. Indeed, a fundamental assumption at WPDI is that peace is more than the absence of war: it is a positive state that builds on acts of solidarity and attitudes of openness, that our program will disseminate among children and young people who will in turn use their knowledge and skills to transform their immediate environments.

The launch of this program on conflict resolution education in school comes as the fruition of a long but rewarding process. As a school-based program, a first step was to to enter partnerships with local schools as well as authorities at the national ministry of education as well as the State governor’s administration. The most exciting part of the process was to train the youth from our leadership program, the Youth Peacemaker Network (YPN). Under the YPN, we train a select group of highly talented young women and men in communities afflicted by conflict or post-conflict conditions, who, once certified as WPDI peacemakers, later conduct activities to promote lasting peace, e. g. through advocacy campaigns on human rights issues, and sustainable development, , e. g. by developing income-generating projects. Their role is to lay the foundations for a future of shared and peaceful destiny. As partners in the implementation of our peacebuilding mission, some of these young leaders will contribute to build the next generation of peacemakers by training them directly in the classroom.

Our program on conflict resolution education in schools is one of our most promising seeds of peace. Expanding this program is clearly of the challenges that WPDI will have to address in the coming months and years to strengthen the dissemination of a culture of peace in South Sudan and beyond.