Victor Ochen – #WhatsYourPeace?

September 21, 2015

Transitioning from Conflict: Youth-Specific Programs
An Interview with Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Victor Ochen

Victor Ochen’s ‘peace’ of peace promotes a culture of reconciliation through education and youth programming. Prolonged conflict not only disrupts the economic and political structures of a community, but also social institutions. Family structures are broken down and a generation of youth misses out on their education.

Lack of education combined with the effects of violent conflict leave youth disenfranchised. Reclaiming education for those overlooked during violent conflict helps reengage youth in their communities and promotes healing. It is important to develop and implement youth-specific programs focused on promoting justice and accountability. This in turn will promote community healing.

As a result, youth become social, economic and political participants. This initiates the healing process and can bring families back together. Individuals return to their education, foster community peace dialogues, and develop effective conflict mediation.

This work is done with the idea of what peace should be. Peace as it should be occurs after individuals and communities are physically and emotionally healed. It is what occurs when people reconcile their present with the realities of what they went through. Injustice needs to be addressed by justice. This will foster trust based on faith in themselves as well as their government and serve as stepping-stones to effective peacebuilding.

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