Investing in young peacebuilders

Article, 31.05.2022

With support from the Embassy of Switzerland, Search for Common Ground is implementing a project to promote peace and security in Mtwara Region. 

Selected ‘youth champions’ during a design workshop exercise.
Selected ‘youth champions’ during a design workshop exercise. © Search for Common Ground.

In the southern part of Tanzania, Mtwara has repeatedly experienced tensions due to instability in the region, among others, insecurity in the neighbouring province of Cabo Delgado in Mozambique. These tensions have affected economic activities, especially cashew nuts production, over the past two years. The Kwa Pamoja Tudumishe Amani (let us work together to maintain peace) project seeks to increase opportunities for youth leadership and engagement on peace and security locally while creating a more receptive environment, particularly on the side of security actors.

The Embassy contributed to Search for Common Ground for the implementation of the project to engage community members, especially young people, in conflict prevention and peacebuilding discussions through collaborative approaches. The participating youth leaders, also known as youth ‘champions’ or ‘influencers’, are trained to empower other young people on peacebuilding and conflict transformation and resolution issues.

In May, a design workshop was conducted for 25 youth leaders (12 Male, 13 Female) in Mtwara to discuss, design, and propose initiatives in response to community security concerns. At the end of the workshop, a number of initiatives were planned to further encourage youth involvement in peacebuilding activities and to increase community understanding. The participating youth leaders and influencers will spearhead the selected initiatives while working closely with the security actors.

The workshop also provided a platform for the youth champions to identify and discuss other socioeconomic issues associated with conflict and how best they can work with responsible authorities to collectively address them.