21.03.2014 - UNESCOPRESS

South Sudanese youth document community voices on conflict and peace

© War Child Holland

South Sudanese youth have documented stories on peace and conflict within the framework of UNESCO’s programme advocating for a Culture for Peace and Non Violence. 105 youth from 6 communities in Central Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria States were trained on how to record the stories of peers and elders. This resulted in the production of a short film, a collation of voices and stories which seeks to enhance peace amongst the South Sudan communities.

UNESCO’s Office in Juba partnered with War Child Holland in August 2013 for the implementation of a youth participatory media project. The aim of the project “Interactive Community Media for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence in South Sudan” aims at  fostering  conditions where peace is a tangible reality for all. 

War Child Holland is a non- profit organization working in South Sudan since 2005 to promote education, child protection and psychosocial support to the marginalized children and young people through creative and innovative means. War Child Holland uses participatory media skills to address sensitive community issues to promote children and youth participation. 

The project provided young people an opportunity to harness the strengths and local knowledge of their community through intergenerational dialogue. 

The youth acquired skills  that enabled their participation and leadership in community development and conflict transformation. They were empowered to identify key issues related to the conflict as well as ideas on how to achieve sustainable peace. During a month-long storytelling cycle in each community, they interacted and documented their peers and elders telling their stories on the changes before, during and after the conflict. This was eventually compiled and produced as a short film with the objective of disseminating the knowledge to other South Sudanese communities.  

In addition to the community screenings where the messages were shared, a national screening was held in Juba on the 20th of March with the presence of Honourable Deputy Minister for Culture, Youth and Sports, the Undersecretary for Youth and Sports, representatives of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Gender and Social Welfare and the Committe for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation. The screening was followed by a debate on the outcomes of the project and the factors hindering and contributing to peace in South Sudan.

A copy of this short film is available at UNESCO Juba office and is free for broadcasting by the media houses. 

UNESCO has been carrying out various activities advocating for a culture of peace and non violence in South Sudan. Such activities include supporting the establishment of a public culture sector including national institutions as the National Archives, the National Museum and the National Theatre. At the same time UNESCO is encouraging local initiatives and associations with the aim to strengthen the culture scene and foster dialogue. 

For further inquiries, please contact:

Ellen Lekka
Culture Specialist, UNESCO Juba – South Sudan
e.lekka(at)unesco.org | +211 928 061 247

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