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.
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.
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