412,000 learners and youth from local communities will be reached through the “Mobilising the Power of Grassroots Youth as Advocates, Peacebuilders and Active Citizens in Conflict Affected Communities of Uganda and South Sudan” project
Doha, 6 June 2021 – EAA and WPDI have launched a new project in Uganda and South Sudan as part of their ongoing efforts to mobilise the power of education for peacebuilding. Empowering youth, a large demographic segment in the two countries, with skills and knowledge essential for human rights advocacy and sustainable peacebuilding, the project will lend agency to participants as global citizens, particularly in areas of conflict where education is under attack.
EAA, through its Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) and Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC) programmes, and WPDI aim to reach 412,000 learners and youth from local communities with the joint project, training over 187,000 youth aged 15-24 years as global citizens and peacemakers, and over 190,000 children and other local stakeholders in human rights advocacy, with the participation of 32,666 local stakeholders over a period of three years. The project will build on a combination of interventions based on the experience and expertise accrued by WPDI in the past years, including through ground-breaking collaboration with EAA in South Sudan and Uganda.
Abdulla Al Abdulla, Executive Director of EAA’s ROTA programme, said: “Too often, young women and men are perceived as victims or perpetrators of violence in conflict-affected areas rather than key stakeholders who can be empowered and mobilised to foster lasting peace and sustainable development. Our new project supports youth in Uganda and South Sudan to take ownership of and contribute to their community as active global citizens, advocating for lifelong peace, human rights and sustainable development”.
Maleiha Malik, Executive Director of EAA's PEIC programme, commented: “Particularly in areas of insecurity and conflict, we must mobilise the power of youth as advocates, peacebuilders and active citizens. With WPDI, we found a long-term, strong partner who echoes our belief that sustainable development depends on youth empowerment and the safeguarding and promotion of the fundamental human right to education. Over the next years, we aim to support children and youth who have lived through conflict, to equip them with the necessary tools to advocate and generate lasting change towards a more peaceful future.”
On behalf of WPDI, Caroline Descombris, its Executive Director, remarked: “There is a potential of youth for promoting peace and welfare in their communities that remains largely untapped. This is a reality that needs to be further recognised. As our founder, Mr. Whitaker affirmed ‘When it comes to transforming the world, providing the right tools to young people and educating them to the values of peace and reconciliation is the key. As SDG Advocate and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, I believe that the association of my organisation with the teams of EAA, inspired by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, will help thousands of young women and men from South Sudan and Uganda bring transformative change in their schools and their countries.’ These powerful words from our founder will drive the effort of WPDI as we engage our youth on the ground.”
As part of their shared goal to educate youth on peace, dialogue and reconciliation in areas that have been impacted by conflict, the EAA-WPDI project will provide youth with competencies and tools they can use throughout the project and beyond, as they disseminate these values in their communities and prepare themselves to become committed citizens.