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Swedish Postcode Foundation to Support Expansions of WPDI’s Youth Peacemaker Network in South Sudan and Uganda

November 9, 2016

The Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative is pleased to announce that the Swedish Postcode Foundation, one of our long-standing partners, will be supporting the launch of new branches of the Youth Peacemaker Network (YPN) in South Sudan and Uganda.

For over two years, the Swedish Postcode Foundation has been a major sponsor of the YPN in Mexico, where branches in Tijuana and Chiapas have seen 60 young women and men trained as peacekeepers and thousands of youth engaged in positive community projects, ranging from anti-bullying initiatives to after-school sports programs to community gardens. The Swedish Postcode Foundation is also a sponsor of the upcoming WPDI documentary Peace Warriors, which will tell the story of several young people in South Sudan who are promoting peace and making a difference in their communities at a time of significant social unrest.

Now, the Swedish Postcode Foundation has generously agreed to partner once again with WPDI as we bring expansions of the YPN program to Western Equatoria in South Sudan and the Acholi Sub-Region of Uganda. These launches of the YPN will be the fifth and sixth branches of WPDI’s flagship program, following successful implementations in South Sudan, Uganda, and two in Mexico.

For both new branches, WPDI will work with community organizations in each region to identify youth leaders who have a demonstrated commitment to service in their communities and a passion for peace. WPDI will work with these young women and men to develop their skills as peacebuilders and community organizers. The goal is to give them the tools they need to go back into their communities to launch peace and development projects that engage vulnerable youth in their villages in productive activities that simultaneously provide valuable services for their communities and sensitize youth to values of peace, tolerance, and respect.

Western Equatoria, a region and former state of South Sudan, continues to be significantly impacted by the violence that has affected that country since late 2013. A recent break in the fighting brings the promise of a new dawn of peace in Western Equatoria. Acholi is a sub-division of Uganda’s Northern Region, an area devastated by the Lord’s Resistance Army’s uprising of the early 2000s. Although the conflict formally ended a decade ago, Acholi continues to be plagued by poverty and episodes of violence. Through these new launches of the YPN, WPDI hopes to work with youth leaders to promote positive values and peace-building projects that will help bring stability and long-term development to these regions.