SDG Advocate Forest Whitaker hosted, through his foundation, the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI), a week-long workshop for young peacemakers from Uganda and South Sudan, partnered with foundations and organisations founded by fellow Advocates Muhammad Yunus and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser.
Young peacemakers trained and supported by WPDI gathered in February in Uganda to participate in workshops to reinforce their capacities as mediators and entrepreneurs. The workshop benefited from the expertise and contribution of Yunus Social Business, an initiative of Muhammad Yunus, Education Above All (EAA), founded by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, and UNESCO. The participants learned a unique mix of conflict resolution, personal development, Information and Communication and business/project management skills, as well as learning about the SDGs.
“The young people we are gathering at this training have been active peace leaders for some time now through our Youth Peacemaker Network program. They have already accomplished a lot for their communities,” said SDG Advocate Forest Whitaker. “This week is not just about teaching them things they do not know. It is also a time for us to listen to them, to learn from their stories. As they grow in confidence and experience, I feel that I receive more and more from them.”
During the week, the workshop featured lectures and interactive sessions run by WPDI on conflict resolution and business skills, as well as a session on life skills led by Forest Whitaker. In addition a representative of Yunus Social Business taught participants the principles of social business and provided concrete examples of how they can improve livelihoods for youth. EAA through its Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC) initiative, held workshops on international law and the protection of education, and together WPDI and UNESCO taught the SDG framework to help the young leaders identify how they can contribute to the global goals through their community projects and reach out to stakeholders for their support.
The young peacemakers left the training with greater mediation and entrepreneurial skills, further empowered to transform their communities from the inside.
A detailed report on the workshops can be found here.