The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the EU have announced a global call for youth leaders, influencers, and creators to promote peace through digital action by joining a new regional programme in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
UNDP describes the ‘United Creatives’ project as one geared to support youth from across the two countries to build digital campaigns that offer alternatives to hate speech, both online and on-the-ground, and will be implemented by the social change agency 'Love Frankie'.
A selection of youth, aged between 18 to 30, will gain access to cutting edge training, mentorship, and tools to build creative online campaigns over ten weeks through UN specialists, Facebook masterclasses, social leaders, and a range of thematic and creative experts, UNDP said.
“The programme promotes positive co-creation by aspiring youth to counter the regions’ struggles with growing online hate speech, misinformation, and division to promote inclusive and diverse solutions. Youth will gain vital digital and strategic skills to successfully promote social cohesion, build positive social messages, and promote tolerance in their respective communities”, UNDP said.
UNDP further stated that the participants will take part in sessions on building emotional intelligence, creating empathic and engaging narratives, using ‘art-ivism’ and new creative mediums for engagement, as well as understanding and calling for positive policy action.
Finally, the organization added, participants will become members of a network of influential youth creating impactful positive digital content and celebrating diversity.
“The COVID-19 pandemic made us realize the power of social media - both positively and negatively. It is critical that the young generation is empowered with the skills to effectively use social media for creating a cohesive and just world”, UNDP Resident Representative in the Maldives Akiko Fujii said.
UNDP noted that the call for applications will remain open until January 18, 2021, after which a panel of experts from project partners will select 40 top applicants to participate in the programme.
The invited participants will start their journey at a kick-off boot camp on February 12.