Peace starts within me

Celebrating UN International Day of Peace with a live social media PeaceJam in Juba #JubaPeaceJam Intra-Africa Hotel, Juba & online worldwide! #defyhatenow #PeaceDay


UN International Day of Peace Monday 21st September 2015

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed to strengthen the ideals of peace, within and among all nations and peoples. This year’s aim is to highlight the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace, promote positive interaction between people online, and connect to those with no access or limited access to the internet or social media.

On UN International Day of Peace, the #defyhatenow initiative, through app developer and social media activist Eng-Lual Michael Mayen in collaboration with r0g_agency, brought together community groups, activists and peacebuilders at the Intra-Africa hotel in Juba to hold a social media “peacejam”.


#jubapeacejam is an invitation to actively make South Sudan’s voice heard above the rhetoric of hate, violence and intolerance. Celebrating unity and independence, together we can take a stand against the forces ripping communities, friends, families and cultures apart.

Working by the Nile in the peaceful garden of the Intra-Africa Hotel, participants from local youth organisations, journalists, students and visitors designed their own ‘peace slogans’ and imagined ways to create lasting peace in South Sudan, and indeed around the world.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 2.23.20 PM

Where social media has increasingly been a place used to stoke the flames of conflict, setting neighbours against one another, #jubapeacejam brings the builders of peace, dialogue and South Sudan’s unique, rich cultural diversity together.


The #jubapeacejam was organised by Eng-Lual Michael Mayen, a young South Sudanese innovator and app designer. Lual created the Salaam Game, an Android app aimed specifically at conflict and hate speech mitigation amongst youth, and was introduced for the first time to the public at the #jubapeacejam.

The app is being developed in collaboration with the ‘peace mobilizers’ programme of the South Sudanese Committee for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation (CNHPR), and is being supported by r0g_agency as part of the #defyhatenow initiative against social media hate speech and directed online incitement to violence.

Some thirty activists gathered for this first ever ‘social media peace jam’, including participants from peacebuilding organisations and projects such as Sawa Shabab, FreeVoice, Vistas / USAID, CNHPR, Internews, as well as IDP children from the Confident Children Out of Conflict (CCC) programme.


Salaam Peace Game was developed by Lual Michael Mayen, a 22 year old software engineering student, and founder of the Computer Bridge for Innovation and Technology, South Sudan.

Lual Michael MayenEng-Lual Michael Mayen

Salaam is an Arabic word that means “peace.” The game provides participants the opportunity to play the role of parties in the conflict situations, and to play the role of a mediator who helps the parties reach agreement. You play the game by tapping the screen, and wait for your heart of peace to grow. When it is big enough, pop it to destroy the war symbols that drop from the sky, and the hate that comes from the side. When it pops, the heart releases a shock wave with the word “peace” in the middle and destroys the war and hate symbols. Salaam Game has good music in the background. The song is called “One people one nation,” and entertains the players when playing the game.


There are so many ways of preaching peace, and Salaam Mobile game is one of them.

Coming soon! What you are saying about Salaam Mobile game:

‘‘Peace is not created with a one-time act: the cease-fire, accord, or reconciliation is just a public point on a timeline between war and durable peace. True peace is built over time, with many different processes and approaches that move conflict into lasting, peaceful relationships. It requires action at many different levels, by different people, in different ways, and at different points in a conflict.’’

Salaam game can be a portal to effective peacebuilding.


Celebrating and amplifying cultural diversity, the #jubapeacejam facilitates open dialogue among cultures, artists and musicians – using the power of social media to #defyhatenow

#jubapeacejam works across as many channels and platforms as possible to bring online groups together, create slogans, exchange information, ideas and create new communities.


#defyhatenow is an online platform for peace and solidarity through positive messaging

International #peacehackcamp barcamp / innovation lab takes place Nov 30 – Dec 02, 2015

#defyhatenow is an initiative in collaboration with the Ebony Center for Strategic Studies and CEPO – Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation supported by the IfA zivik programme with means of the German Federal Foreign Office.


Stephen Kovats, r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation

#DefyHateNow workshop thanks!

Thank you to all the participants and programme supporters for making the first #DefyHateNow workshop in Juba a success!

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The workshop was marked by inspiring and thought provoking discussions enabling us to better understand the mechanisms and many facets of media induced hate and how these can lead to further violence exacerbating South Sudan’s conflict. Local South Sudanese civil society and international media development organisations, including Ebony Center for Strategic Studies, CEPO, Search for Common Ground, E.R.A.D.A., Freevoice, Internews, the South Sudan Women’s Peace Network, UNESCO and the Council for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation joined local media representatives and civil society advocates in exploring how to raise awareness around the effects that online incitement and social media hate speech can have on communities who themselves are not necessarily participants on social media platforms. We now look forward to strengthening cooperation to develop activities, enhance media literacy and awareness of the online mechanisms of dangerous speech, in a concerted effort to #DefyHateNow and support the peacebuilding process in South Sudan.

image credit: Hakim George Hakim … #DefyHateNow workshop group photo on the banks of the Nile River, Intra-Africa Hotel, Juba, South Sudan, April 25th 2015.



“Identifying, Mapping and Developing Mitigation Strategies against Social Media Hate Speech and Directed Online Incitement to Violence”

Saturday April 25, 2015
10.00 – 18.00  in Juba

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PDF download: #DefyHateNow workshop background notes and selected referencesShort Description:

#DefyHateNow is an urgent community peacebuilding, training and conflict reconciliation project aimed to strengthen the voices and support the actions of emergent, primarily youth oriented civil society organizations in South Sudan. Initiated by the Berlin-based r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation, in collaboration with the Juba-based Ebony Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS) and the Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO South Sudan), #DefyHateNow aims to raise awareness of and develop means to counter social media based hate speech, conflict rhetoric and directed online incitement to violence. The project responds to South Sudan’s ongoing civil crisis by addressing the roles played by a wide range of social media users incuding diaspora South Sudanese in either exacerbating or helping mitigate issues, particularly since the eruption of crisis on December 15, 2013.

On July 8th 2014 the ‘South Sudan Inside-Out: Rebooting the Peace’ conference, opened by Christoph Strässer, the German Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid was held simultaneously in Berlin and Juba. Hosted by r0g_agency for open culture in collaboration with the German Africa Foundation and Talk of Juba the event acted as an initial #DefyHateNow discussion on the role of social media in the current conflict.

This first #DefyHateNow program development workshop in Juba on April 25, 2015 is aimed to bring partners, correspondents, potential further stakeholders, community leaders, and experts working in South Sudan on issues of (social) media and conflict resolution together in an initial exchange on building the project’s strategic framework. It will discuss issues of social media literacy and verification (groudtruthing), community media interaction (including within UNMISS PoC sites), freedom of expression and means of fostering a ‘culture of peace’ with concrete practice examples, resources and the ways with which to implement social media based violence mitigation strategies.

Additionally, #DefyHateNow seeks to support and see those voices acting against the conflict go ‘viral’ both within and outside the country – also bringing the South Sudanese diaspora into the online peace building framework, bridging gaps of knowledge and awareness of social media mechanisms between those that have access to technology and those that do not.

The workshop is designed as an ‘off-the-record’ project development meeting with a small number of partners and colleagues. Although we will document the event for internal development of the project Chatham House Rules* of engagement will be adhered to

The #DefyHateNow pilot is funded by the ‘zivik – civil conflict resolution program’ of ‘ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen’, with means of the German Federal Foreign Office.

Partners and Supporters:

German Institute for Foreign Relations / zivik – Civil Conflict Resolution Funding Programme


German Federal Foreign Office


Ebony Center for Strategic Studies (EBSS)



Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO)



Doing Development Differently – OPENing up Cooperation

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On Thursday January 22, 2015, r0g_agency for open culture gGmbH, Digital Unite e.V. and the Centre for Internet & Human Rights at European University Viadrina (CIHR), presented Doing Development Differently – OPENing up Cooperation, or #DoDevDif. The event, hosted by the Embassy of Canada and supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is aimed at strengthening and better defining the notion of ‘Open Development’. Part of the CIHR’s wider workshop series on Digital Alternatives and Social Innovation, #DoDevDif brings together innovative development practitioners including open culture and ICT4D advocates, researchers, policymakers and social activists. Discussing the opportunities open data, ICTs and collaborative citizen-based methodologies pose for a new form of international development practice, #DoDevDif welcomed practitioners interested in Doing Development Differently to an open exchange at the Embassy of Canada in Berlin. The event included an open bar camp format, a focussed debate and a special screening of the documentary film ‘Made in Africa‘ by Geraldine de Bastion and René von der Waar.

Doing Development Differently / #DoDevDif January 22, 2015
Please R.S.V.P. for the event before Jan 10! You will be automatially directed to the Canada Embassy Marshall McLuhan Salon Event Registration page. The registration info is used solely in order to create a participant list with which to best prepare for the event.
Complete #DoDevDif info here!

Join the preliminary #DoDevDif discussion on Open Development! We also acknowledge a similar, yet not directly related event and platform being set up by our friends at the ODI and the Harvard Kennedy School!

Juba’s Kapital Virtual Academy

“Empowering and transforming the life of the community through the power of media and film”      Lagu Stephen Samuel

r0g_agency supports Kapital Virtual Academy (KVA), a Juba based grass-roots film and video training initiative founded by independent film-makers and medical students Lagu Stephen Samuel and Richard Dratu in 2013. → read more

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By utilizing an Open Source philosophy including the use of OERs (Open Educational Resources), FOSS / open source software and open technologies, KVA aims to build local capacity and community empowerment through the power of film and media production. As such KVA’s aim is primarily two-fold:

1. skills training and professional capacity building in IT and media production
2. advancing the ideals of securing a vibrant open civil society in South Sudan

KVA current course load touches upon a diverse range of topics related to technology, design and media production including:

  • Basic computer skills
  • Software training
  • Cinematography
  • Photography
  • Web design
  • Digital computer graphics
  • Creative writing
  • Sound and video editing

But in order to be truly successful, and sustain its independence, express its cultural values and spread their open culture philosophy the KVA now needs real support and partners that share their vision by, for example:

  • enabling professional guest mentors on a regular basis
  • providing up-to-date
  • equipment and technology
  • facilitating access to quality educational resources
  • helping pay staff and cover administrative, travel and location costs

For more information and to support the KVA, please visit:

KVA_flyer download

contact :
Lagu Stephen Samuel [lagu[at]] Dratu Richard [dratu[at]]

South Sudan: #DeepDive

featuring Prof. Leben Nelson Moro

Center for Peace and Development Studies
University of Juba, South Sudan

19.30 CEST (Berlin GMT+2)
Thursday, July 17, 2014

ThoughtWorks Werkstatt
Mülhauserstr. 6. (Hofgebäude 1. OG)
Berlin, Germany

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stream archive (event begins at ca. 24 min.):

South Sudan: #DeepDive

Please join us for a special evening with our guest Prof. Leben Nelson Moro from the Center for Peace and Development Studies, University of Juba, South Sudan. At a time framed by the extremes of humanitarian crisis, immense pressures on equitable development and great uncertainty in its future political path South Sudan: #DeepDive is a unique opportunity to have an in-depth presentation on the economic situation on the ground in the country’s predominantly rural regions, as well as in its rapidly growing cities. Prof. Moro, who teaches in the areas of development, conflict, forced migration and humanitarian affairs will introduce the major players and discuss the conditions of the very heterogenous population of “Africa’s youngest country”.

South Sudan: #DeepDive is hosted by Dmytri Kleiner and Baruch Gottlieb from the ThoughtWorks Werkstatt in Berlin, in collaboration with r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation.

#DefyHateNow – live stream

South Sudan Inside-Out: Rebooting the Peace

live stream:
Tuesday 8th of July
19:00 Berlin (GMT/UTC +2) or 20:00 Juba (GMT/UTC +3)

For other local times, consult the Time Zone Converter.

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(stream via youtube:

On July 8th 2014, the eve of South Sudan’s third anniversary of independence, the Germany Africa Foundation in collaboration with r0g_agency and Talk of Juba is hosting at Berlin’s Humboldt University as part of the #DefyHateNow initiative, with a simultaneous event node in Juba, South Sudan. The discussion explores the role of social media in aggravating the current conflict, yet perhaps providing a path to peace and reconciliation.

join the live online discussion
via Talk of Juba. Online moderator Brett McKenna will relay questions and comments for the panelists from wherever you are located!

Thanks to Baruch @telekommunisten for facilitating the stream!

South Sudan Inside-Out: Rebooting the Peace


On July 8th 2014, the eve of South Sudan’s third anniversary of independence, the Germany Africa Foundation in collaboration with r0g_agency and the Talk of Juba online community will be hosting South Sudan Inside-Out: Rebooting the Peace in Berlin. As part of the #DefyHateNow initiative, the event explores the role of social media in aggravating the current conflict in South Sudan, yet perhaps providing a path to peace and reconciliation. read more…

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Date:           Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Time:          19.00 – 20:30 CEST Berlin (UTC / GMT +2)
Venue:       Senatssaal (Humboldt University)
Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin

RSVP please until 2nd July 2014
via mail:

Christoph Strässer
German Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid

Dr. Leben Nelson Moro
Center for Peace and Development Studies,
University of Juba, South Sudan

Sieta Majok
Blogger and Co-Founder of #TalkOfJuba

Marina Peter 
Sudan Forum e.V.

Achwil Biong Arop Kuol
First Secretary, Charge d’Affaires
Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan in Germany

Dr. h.c. Volker Faigle
Official Envoy of the Council of the Evangelical Church in Germany to Sudan and South Sudan

The event will also be streamed live on YouTube and moderated for online remote participation via Talk of Juba – we’d like to hear your voice and views wherever you are located!

Please consult the Time Zone Converter for your local event time.

With many thanks to our supporting event partners:

ekd_logo_rot_470  tk-logo  mict  HU-Logo


In collaboration with:

DAS_cmyk   talk_Juba






In the runup and development towards a first global ‘Summit of Critical Making’ to be held in Yogyakarta Indonesia in 2015, the newly formed Culture Arts Technology Collective CATEC in collaboration with r0g_agency and the HONF Foundation are hosting a [proto:type] event, The Yogyakarta Meeting on Open Culture and Critical Making.

[proto:type]Y2014 highlights the unique and innovative forms of open culture practiced in Indonesia fusing art, open technology and education with grass-roots community interaction. Continue reading [PROTO:TYPE] Y2014

Humanitarian Open Media Repository #OSIDP

The Humanitarian Open Media Repository / #OSIDP is a r0g_agency initiative to create an easily accessible and rapid use repository of ‘open licensed’ or ‘free to use’ documentary film, video, audio or other forms of digital media work. The #OSIDP is aimed for use by educators, media professionals, development organizations and local CSOs for urgent crisis and humanitarian assistance. Currently in an ’embryonic’ state, the idea for the #OSIDP was initiated by the UNESCO South Sudan team’s call for copyright-free documentary films to support their “urgent psychosocial activities in the Internally Displaced People (IDP) camps, as well as the Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites of UNMISS (UN Mission in South Sudan).” Continue reading Humanitarian Open Media Repository #OSIDP