Sudan Youth Dialogue

Laikipia, Kenya - 1-7 March, 2007

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In March 2007, DDMBA sponsored the Sudan Youth Dialogue, organized by GPIW. Forty young people from Sudan participated in an unprecedented youth dialogue at the Laikipia Nature Conservancy and Spiritual Center in Kenya. It was the first time young people between the ages of 20 and 35 from throughout Sudan were able to meet to discuss the situation in their country as major stakeholders. They were joined by an international delegation of mentors from DDMBA and the GPIW network, including Dena Merriam, Marianne Marstrand, Teny Pirri Simonian, Jackeline Wilson from the US Institute for Peace, and Fr. Ismail Kanani of the Nile Theological College, as well as members of the Young Leaders Peace Council. This dialogue was the first program of the Young Leaders Peace Council (YLPC) launched in October 2006 at the Young Leaders Peacebuilding Retreat, sponsored and hosted by DDMBA.

Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Great Rift Valley, the seven-day meeting was filled with discussions on how to create a stronger and more peaceful Sudan. Sudanese youth from all regions met to exchange experiences and challenges, form partnerships, and build a network that would facilitate a positive role for youth to play in a way forward for the country. The outcome of the meeting was the creation of the Sudan Youth Network for Development, where active members of society would work together to connect youth and development organizations for the common good and development of their nation. They appointed focal points for each region and agreed upon a mission statement and a set of priorities.