STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN -- (Marketwire) -- 12/13/12 --
Youth peacemaker network to harness technology to promote peace-building capacities among South Sudanese youth with the support of Ericsson, andZain
Forest Whitaker, Oscar-winning actor, humanist and Goodwill Ambassador oftheUnited Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO),announced today the PeaceEarth Foundation will launch the Youth PeacemakerNetwork in South Sudan in cooperation with UNESCO Juba, the Ministry ofCulture,Youth and Sport of South Sudan, Zain and Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC).
The Youth Peacemaker Network will nurture a new generation of leaderscommittedto reconciliation and conflict prevention. Participating youth fromSouthSudan's 10 States will be trained by local and international experts inconflictresolution, leadership, peace and community building as well asmediationskills. These youth will forge peaceful, non-violent relationships withtheirpeers as they work together with their communities, engage with youthnation-wide, receive mentoring and training in business skills to promoteattractivelearning and skills-based opportunities.
"Reconciliation is a slow process, and it often takes as much time to getout ofa conflict as it took to get in one," said Forest Whitaker. "That's why itis soimportant to work with youth to promote the significance of education,personalempowerment and leadership to build peaceful conflict resolution skills andtechniques."
With 72 percent of the South Sudanese population under the age of 30, apeacefulfuture for the country is in the hands of the young. "Peace is anenablingfactor for the development and prosperity of South Sudan and to thebuilding ofa national identity, said Mr. Salah Khaled, UNESCO Juba's Head of Office."It isessential to empower young people and train them with the skills they needto betomorrow's leaders."
The program will use the field expertise of its key partners. UNESCO Jubawillfacilitate the secure access of youth living in remote areas. Ericsson willprovide mobile broadband connectivity, computers, and mobile phones fromSonyMobile, alongside basic ICT and social media training and tools forconnectingteachers and students through the global education initiative Connect ToLearn.Ericsson will provide on-site project management resources, Wi-Fi coverage,andthe Ericsson cloud computing solution to support the program.
In support of its belief that mobile connectivity is a tool of empowermenttobuild peace and a positive agent of change, Zain will provide internetaccessvia 35 mobile broadband dongles with capacity of 1GB per month, as well asmobile phone SIM cards for program participants.
PeaceEarth and UNESCO Juba are working together with South Sudan'sMinistry ofYouth, Culture and Sport as well as State-level ministries and YouthUnions toestablish computer centers in the State Capitals. These centres willhelpparticipants from the Youth Peacemaker Network to share theirexperiences andaccess additional trainings through the online platform www.peaceearth.org.Zainwill also support additional cooperation with governmental agencies tosupportand develop Sudanese youth.
Mr. Cirino Hiteng Ofuho, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, saidaboutthe project, "The fact that young people will have a place to learn andpracticecomputer skills and communicate with youth from different States andcounties,will provide them with future opportunities while also buildingtheirrelationships and breaking down some of the misunderstandings whichlead toconflict in the first place."
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