UNAOC Launches Young Peacebuilders Programme in West Africa

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On International Youth Day 2016, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) launched the Call for Applications for the Young Peacebuilders in West Africa programme. The Call is open to participants between 18 to 25 years old, from West Africa, with a strong interest in growing their ability to act as agents of peace in their community, region and beyond.

Up to 20 young women and young men affiliated with youth-led and youth-focused organizations will be selected to participate in an intercultural dialogue and peacebuilding experience. Over the course of 12 weeks, the selected participants will interact online through a series of facilitated modules, and in-person, during a one-week workshop in Abuja, Nigeria. Participants will act as a force multiplier of the lessons learned through the program and actively take part in follow-up activities at the community level.

The aim of this new programme is to support the growth of networks of young peacebuilders who are equipped with the tools to address stereotypes, prejudice and polarization in order to build more inclusive and peaceful societies in their communities and globally. It is part of UNAOC’s educational programming for young people, which seeks to enhance the ability of young people and their organizations to foster mutual respect, understanding and long-term positive relationships between peoples of different cultures and religions.

More About the Young Peacebuilders in West Africa Programme

unaoccGuided by the principle that youth are key actors to achieve peace, UNAOC develops educational programming to enhance the ability of young people and their organizations to foster mutual respect, understanding and long-term positive relationships between peoples of different cultures and religions.

The Young Peacebuilders project is designed to engage young women and young men from West Africa in an intercultural dialogue and peacebuilding experience. The aim is to support the growth of networks of young peacebuilders who are equipped with the tools to address stereotypes, prejudice and polarization in order to build more inclusive and peaceful societies in their communities and globally.

The programme is intended for young women and young men who are starting their involvement in this field.  20 selected participants will learn and collaborate online and in-person during 12 weeks – from October to December 2016.

Participants will interact online through a series of facilitated modules and in-person during a one-week workshop in Abuja, Nigeria in November.

During the programme, participants will:

  • Learn about other cultures, faiths and worldviews within and beyond the group to foster intercultural cohesion and collaboration;
  • Learn about stereotypes and how to critically analyse them to reduce their prevalence;
  • Understand different perspectives in identity-based conflict and gain tools to develop solutions at local, national and regional level and transform conflicts peacefully;
  • Develop competences to use different forms of media or expressive arts as a way to create alternative narratives, reduce polarization and promote social inclusion.

Programme components:

  • Part 1: online phase. Participants access the course through an online collaborative platform. UNAOC and other trainers facilitate the first few modules of the curriculum, giving an opportunity to participants to get to know each other prior to their first in-person meeting. They also start getting exposed to tools and concepts, engage in discussion and start reflecting on their individual and joint action.
  • Part 2: one-week face-to-face workshop. All participants travel to Abuja, Nigeria to complete modules and field visits with trainers and facilitators. They also work together on the development of the group final products and their own action plans.
  • Part 3: online follow-up phase. Participants stay connected through the online platform, improve their final products and report on the implementation of their action plans. Each participant must commit to complete three follow up actions in the 2 months following the workshop. This part consolidates the network and follow-up mechanisms, ensuring the members of the group continue to support each other after the close of the proje

Please be reminded that applicants selected for this programme must be aged 18 to 25 at the time of applying and for its total duration (October-December 2016). To be considered eligible, applicants must be born on or between January 1, 1991 and August 15, 1998 in th efolwoing Wets Africa Countries:

Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

To learn more about this programme and apply for it, please follow this link:

– The call for applications is here: http://www.unaoc.org/what-we-do/projects/young-peacebuilders-in-west-africa

– The press release can be found here: http://www.unaoc.org/2016/08/unaoc-launches-call-for-applications-for-young-peacebuilders-in-west-africa/    

– Attached is a postcard about the program, and here is some suggested language that you can use on social media:

Call for Applications for West African Young Peacebuilders #YouthDay #Youth4Peace @UNAOC http://www.unaoc.org/2016/08/unaoc-launches-call-for-applications-for-young-peacebuilders-in-west-africa/ 

About the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)

UNAOC  was  established  in  2005,  at  the  political  initiative  of  Mr.  Kofi Annan and co-sponsored by the Governments of Spain and Turkey. UNAOC works towards a more socially inclusive world, by building mutual respect among peoples of different cultural and religious identities, and highlighting the will of the world’s majority to reject extremism and embrace diversity. UNAOC project activities are fashioned round Youth, Education, Media  and  Migration. 

UNAOC  recognizes  the  critical  role  that  programming  and  policy‐making  in  these  areas  can  play  in  reducing  polarization  and  identity‐based  tensions  and  in helping to build bridges between communities. The Alliance benefits from the political support of the Group of Friends, a community of 144 countries, international and regional organizations, which actively promotes the Alliance’s objectives.

To learn more about UNAOC and its programming for young people, please visit its homepage

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