Youth Social Advocacy Team

Ambassador: John Jal Dak , South Sudan

John founded Youth Social Advocacy Team to help young people in Rhino Refugee Camp, Northwestern Uganda, to develop their leadership and peacebuilding skills. Youth Social Advocacy Team has directly impacted more than 10,000 people through three main programmes. The organisation has also trained 250 young people to become local Peace Ambassadors. These young people are taught conflict resolution skills such as mediation, negotiation and facilitating community dialogue. These Peace Ambassadors are responsible for policing and monitoring potential event hot-spots. For example, Peace Ambassadors volunteer to steward local football tournaments held inside the Camp to prevent potential riots breaking out and to discourage violence. During the 2018 World Cup there was an incident where a fight broke out resulting in four deaths1 . The Youth Social Advocacy Team Peace Ambassadors work together to prevent similar incidents from occurring.

The Team also runs a flagship entrepreneurial competition each year, which encourages young people to pitch their own business idea to the panel for a chance to win a small pot of seed funding to transform their idea into reality. The 2018 competition had 60 submissions, from which five projects were selected and each awarded two million Ugandan shillings as prize money. The competition encourages young people to think creatively about how they can generate income without relying on the job market, when formal employment opportunities are scarce. The Youth Social Advocacy Team also runs entrepreneurial training classes to help young people to prepare for the competition. To date almost 100 young people have been trained in this way. The organisation also conducts advocacy and outreach programmes in Rhino Camp about the dangers of domestic violence and child marriage. Approximately 10,000 people across 32 villages have been educated about sexual and gender based violence to date.

After attending the One Young World 2018 The Hague Summit, John was able to secure partnerships with Oxfam Novib and Anchor, which he attributes to the increased exposure received by Youth Social Advocacy Team at the Summit.