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Forest Whitaker sows seeds of peace in Cape Town ganglands

Award-winning Hollywood actor Forest Whitaker has launched a peace initiative in South Africa to help uplift the youth.

The Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative was launched in August and focuses on the gang-ridden areas of Cape Town to help turn the tables for the troubled youth of the city.

Earlier in November, the Last King of Scotland star visited Cape Town as part of the peace initiative. Whitaker has launched and developed the Youth Peacemaker Network in South Sudan, Uganda, the US, Mexico, with South Africa next on the map in training young people to become peacemakers.

The youngsters have been participating in conflict resolution and entrepreneurship programmes and will ultimately become “trainers of trainees”.

“They [young people] can be a force for peace and sustainable development in their community. We make it our mission to empower and train some 350 young peacemakers from the most violent communities in the Flats,” the initiative says on its website.

Part of the initiative is to create a culture of peace through community dialogues, as well as courses in conflict resolution education in schools on the Cape Flats.

Providing the youth with resources to develop educational projects and small businesses, the peace initiative aims to empower the youth to transform their community by putting them on the path to greater resilience and increased opportunities.

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