The Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI) is proud to announce that the Western Union Foundation has pledged a three-year grant totaling USD$1,119,000 to support WPDI’s peacebuilding initiative at a refugee camp in Kiryandongo, Uganda. This funding will help provide access to life-skills and conflict-resolution education for 10,000 refugees at the camp as part of a new program that will be unveiled over the coming months.
This latest peacebuilding initiative in Kiryandongo is part of WPDI’s ongoing efforts to support the world’s growing population of individuals displaced due to violence. According to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, wars, conflict and persecution have forced an unprecedented 65.3 million people to flee their homes. This staggering number represents approximately one out of every 113 people on Earth. Uganda in particular hosts the eighth-largest refugee population in the world, third-largest in Africa.
WPDI’s approach to training refugees focuses on peace education, life skills, vocational training, and entrepreneurship. The initiative to be launched at Kiryandongo will be based on the peacebuilding programs that WPDI has built in South Sudan, including at a camp for internally displaced persons in Juba, that nation’s capital. The UNHCR reports that approximately 70,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Kenya, Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan—85% of whom are under 18—have sought safety in Kiryandongo. The goal of the program is to help provide hope and opportunity for some of the millions of displaced young people across the globe.
WPDI founder and CEO Forest Whitaker spoke excitedly about the partnership with the Western Union Foundation. “After meeting Hikmet [Western Union’s CEO] at the United Nations World Humanitarian Summit this year, it became clear that partnering with the Western Union Foundation was a natural fit and alignment with our passion and purpose for strengthening communities. Connecting to people, empowering them with the tools they need to succeed, and teaching them to give back to others is a very powerful thing.”
Western Union and the Western Union Foundation have a long history of supporting organizations and issues related to migration, refugees, and humanitarian crisis. Western Union is a founding member of the White House call-to-action for private sector engagement on the global refugee crisis.
Link to the video: https://youtu.be/_b-1MpYsFH8