The JPIIJPC initiated the Youth Building Peace Program in 2009 as a means of developing young leaders for a better tomorrow. The vision of the Youth Building Peace program is to offer training for Ugandan youth that empowers them to be servant leaders in their communities now and in their future endeavors. The goal of the program is to build unity and peace by cultivating social conscientiousness, relationships, spirituality, and leadership skills among catholic youth in Uganda, such that they return to their communities and lead efforts to create a more just society.
The program brings youth ages 18-25 years of age from across Uganda together once a year for two weeks to learn about social justice, conflict resolution, and social action. The program provides the opportunity for the youth to develop in areas they are currently not getting exposure to in their regular academic experiences due to inequalities in resources, teachers and perspectives. The youth also have the opportunity to learn more about their catholic faith and deepen their personal relationship with God. The transformational power in this program is having the youth return multiple times during the span of six years, building relationships with those from various regions and ethnic groups across Uganda. Slowly over time, this is one means of unifying the country, generation after generation, creating a network of ethical and trusted leaders in various sectors.
During the two-week program youth develop their personal and leadership abilities. Specifically, the program builds their knowledge, skills and awareness in the areas of communication, team building, conflict resolution, social action planning, forgiveness, and the principles of Catholic Social Teaching.
We use interactive methods of learning, including the use of art, movies, drama, poetry, singing, sports, and structured activities to teach the youth. We profile peace-makers such as St Damien, Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day, Nelson Mandela, Wangari Maathai and other Africans as models for the youth. The youth engage in practical ways to improve their team building, communication, conflict resolution and planning skills. Through interesting activities the youth are challenged to increase their own self-awareness and face their own prejudices.
Since the training program is made very affordable for the youth, they are asked to make a commitment for one year to create positive change in their communities in some way. Thus far, the youth have reached out to children on the streets to help give them a better life, they have encouraged and supported prostitutes to forge a new path, they have gathered children in their villages and parishes to engage them in constructive activities, usually involving themes of positive social behavior, they have visited elderly and shut-ins, they have created income generating projects, they have mediated conflicts in their work or school environments, they have made efforts to forgive and reconcile in their families, and mostly they lived more Christ-like lives.
Come join this wonderful opportunity to build new friendships, learn about yourself, grow in your catholic faith, develop your leadership skills, learn about peace and justice issues, and help make Uganda a more just and united country.
For more information or to add your name to the list of interested candidates, please send us an e-mail.