The Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI), supported by Ericsson, extends to the Mexican state of Chiapas.

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI) join their efforts through the Harmonizer Program to help violence affected and vulnerable communities on the path to reconciliation and resilience. Emphasizing the importance of connectivity in the contemporary world, this 3-year program aims at allowing youth to engage in online community practices, which will constitute an asset in times of crisis when they can access in real time tools to brainstorm, address and solve pressing issues and conflicts. For these reasons, WPDI combines conflict resolution, life coaching, peace building, community development, yoga and meditation along with ICT training.

The Harmonizer Program in Mexico was officially launched in the City of Tijuana in January 2014 and will expand in the Mexican state of Chiapas this month where Ericsson will continue offering support through ICT training and promote new technologies usage in social communities’ projects.

Developed by artist, humanist and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation Forest Whitaker, the initiative began in Mexico in January 2014, when a group of young people from challenging environments was gathered in Tijuana, Baja California.

Forest Whitaker says: "The best way to facilitate peace and development within vulnerable communities is to channel the vast potential of youth, to connect these eager young men and women, and to harness their energy to be a force for good. I have confidence that the youth of Mexico will keep the promise of peace and reconciliation for their country."

Marcia Goraieb, Head of Sustainability Latin America and the Caribbean, Ericsson, says: "After 110 years of presence in Mexico, we are committing ourselves once again to the Mexican society by continuing social initiatives through our Corporate Responsibility programs to benefit the communities locally. We are committed to providing broadband internet access and tools like mobile phones and tablets as well as ICT basic skill training to contribute."

The "Harmonizer" Program in Tijuana concluded its first stage with the graduation of 34 young people, specializing in conflict-resolution, leadership, project management, ICT use and life and well-being skills.

In the next two years, the program will expand to other areas of Mexico to encourage skill development with alternative and innovative learning models. Currently, seven projects are being planned and will be executed in the City of Tijuana.

At this moment in Chiapas, WPDI, in collaboration with the Autonomous University of Chiapas, is enrolling young leaders in different communities to act as leaders who will work to lay the groundwork for lasting peace and sustainable development.

About Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative

WPDI is a not-for-profit organization with an international scope and reach, founded in 2012 by Academy award winning actor and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, Forest Whitaker. With programs currently located in Latin American, Africa, and USA, WPDI is dedicated to peace-building and community empowerment in areas of conflict everywhere. It focuses on empowering and inspiring youth, women, and global citizens to promote peace across the planet. We support and sustain our peace initiatives with conflict resolution training programs and methodology, grassroots efforts, access to experts, social media, technology, content and 21st century communication tools.

Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative

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