Peacebuilding through education

We work with the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI) to help youngsters affected by conflict and violence to foster safer and more productive communities in Africa and Latin America. Founded in 2012, WPDI provides a unique approach to working with young people, including training in mediation and conflict transformation, and developing vocational skills in ICT. Young people also receive mentoring and funds to help them kickstart entrepreneurial projects that benefit their local communities.

Education for peace building

Challenge

Promoting peace and development in fragile states.

Solution

As WPDI’s technology partner, Ericsson provides ICT equipment and works together with mobile operators to enable connectivity and internet access for the computer-equipped community learning centers that WPDI develops in remote areas. We also deliver comprehensive virtual and face-to-face training in ICT and professional skills, based on our Connect to Learn concept.

Impact

More than 20,000 young people were directly impacted by 2018. Thanks to Ericsson’s cloud-hosted Connect to Learn educational platform, 13 community learning centers have been established, 151 peacemakers have received training and 17 income-generating​ projects have launched.

More facts and reading

Founded in 2012 by Forest Whitaker, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation and UN Advocate for Children Affected by War, WPDI provides holistic peacebuilding training that focuses on conflict transformation. As the technology partner to WPDI, we provide ICT tools and training for the youth.

The Youth Peacemaker Network (YPN), WPDI’s flagship program, fosters young leaders in conflict regions such as in South Sudan and post-conflict regions like Northern Uganda. The program now operates in Eastern Equatoria State, where a group of youth have received WPDI’s peacebuilding curriculum and computer centers have been established. After graduating from their training, the participating youth have recruited other young women and men from across the state and, together, are establishing community action plans to bring peace and development to their villages.

The long-term goal is to empower young women and men from Eastern Equatoria as peace leaders, community builders and global citizens through certified education and training programs. This includes teaching peacebuilding and conflict resolution, life- and empathy-skills, coaching and training in ICT and vocational skills.

Another WPDI program designed to address conflict transformation in urban settings where violence has affected youth, the Harmonizer Program was established in Mexico and Uganda. The Mexican program was first established in Tijuana, where 34 youth graduated in 2015. The program launched in Chiapas in 2015, training a new cohort of 28 youth. In Uganda, the Harmonizer Program reaches out to former child soldiers and orphans of Uganda’s civil war at the Hope North School. In 2015 a Hope North computer center was launched. In 2018 a new computer center was established in the Kiryandongo refugee camp.

Active SDGs

Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals

The highlighted Sustainable Development Goals are included in the project.