UNESCO Special Envoy, Forest Whitaker and UNESCO announced the expansion of the Youth Peacemaker Network (YPN) in South Sudan’s Equatoria region. This peace-building program has been developed by The Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI) in partnership with UNESCO, Ericsson and Zain Group.
Basel Manasrah, CEO at Zain South Sudan, said: “Our partnership with ‘The Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative’, UNESCO and Ericsson aims to enhance the prospects of young people in the country by bringing them together and motivating them to become agents of positive change. Through telecommunications, we are all jointly focused on narrowing the digital divide, capacity building and empowering the South Sudanese youth with the necessary skills to develop a more productive future.”
Elaine Weidman-Grunewald, Ericsson’s vice president, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility said: “Ericsson advocates using technology as a force for good, and we are committed to empowering change-makers in the Youth Peacemaker Network through mobile technology. By enabling the youth from South Sudan to be connected to each other and to the world around them, we hope to further their peace-building efforts.”
Whitaker remained optimistic that peace is possible. “I have always believed that when given the right tools, youth have the power to create ripples of change through their communities that will ultimately lead to lasting peace,” he said.