Category: Peace (Page 1 of 3)

#defyhatenow17 #EndOfYearEvent

#defyhatenow17 #EndOfYearEvent



OPEN DAY & EXHIBITION 11th December 2017 from 9:00am to 5:00pm

Women’s Union
Hai Neem (behind Equatoria Tower), Juba, South Sudan

Click here to get a special invitation for  your friends.

#defyhatenow cordially invites you to join an open day of discussions, workshops, exhibitions and screenings to reflect how the initiative has been working to offer alternative narratives in the battle against online hate speech. By raising awareness of how social media affects conflict and can be used as a resource to mitigate hate speech, and other means to actively engaging communities in peacebuilding and positive cultural exchange #defyhatenow hopes to make a positive contribution to South Sudan’s future!

Hate speech refers to information that incites, belittles or mobilizes others against groups or individuals based on their ethnicity, race, religion, gender, creed or national identity. This disturbing trend is widely practiced via online platforms, sometimes without even knowing it or realising the consequences, increasing the risk of inter-communal conflict offline. As an urgent community peacebuilding initiative formed in reaction to the way social media has been used to inflame the December 2013 and subsequent conflicts, #defyhatenow has been engaged with grassroots organizations and youth groups for trainings, workshops, and cultural activities across South Sudan, in its neighbouring countries and amongst the broader online diaspora.

The #defyhatenow team would be honored to welcome your active participation in this activity filled day, looking forward to acquaint you with project resources and activities including:

• Exhibition of photographs, videos and documentation from #defyhatenow activities
• Presenting the #defyhatenow ‘Social Media Hate Speech Mitigation Field Guide’
• Getting your voice and ideas for peace out online – interactive social media photo booth • Youths and children hands-on innovation and makerspace for collaborative arts
• How to engage with global knowledge resources such as Wikipedia for peace purposes • Preview film screening on raising on misuse of social media and likely impacts
• Culturally themed local food to crown the day!

Join #defyhatenow on Facebook, Twitter @defyhatenow
For further information, press and media, please contact:
Marina Modi <> / Tel: +211 0955950026

#defyhatenow is a collaborative civic conflict resolution initiative funded by the zivik programme of ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen / Institute for Foreign Affairs) with means of the German Federal Foreign Office




#defyhatenow social media #peacejam17 presents events in Juba, Bor & Torit in South Sudan; Nairobi, Kenya; Arua, Uganda; Edmonton, Canada & online.

#defyhatenow social media #peacejam17 aims to amplify ‘positive influencers’ occupying South Sudan’s social media landscape with voices of peacebuilding and counter-messaging rather than leaving that space open to agents of conflict.

A #peacejam can be a social gathering, it may be based on existing types of gatherings, dances, theatre, songs or improvised forms of collaborative action.

Anyone can join the social media #peacejam on Sept 21st, by attending an event or simply by sharing your own peace messages online with hashtags #defyhatenow & #peacejam17. Photograph your #peacejam messages, create gifs or quotes and upload to social media channels – blogs, instagram, facebook, twitter, whatsapp.

Hashtags need to be all one word, with no spaces to show up online as social media activism and allow monitoring of their reach, impact and engagement. 

Using #peacejam17 and #defyhatenow hashtags on your social media posts will help track the broader South Sudanese use of online channels for positive cultural change, and to gain a better understanding of the social media peace landscape.

“We sometimes forget that our online voices reach a wider audience than just our friends. #defyhatenow is reminding South Sudanese nationals that we need to continue working together to make the online spaces we inhabit more peaceful and tolerant. We are not just citizens of our respective countries, we are global citizens, and in a minute your online message could help bring peace or exacerbate conflict in the world.”

Kendi Gikunda, Bloggers workshop Nairobi August 2017

#defyhatenow #peacejam17 connects online with peacebuilders in South Sudan & the diaspora.

  • Harness the power of social media to promote peace; online and offline
  • Bring friends and communities in South Sudan and the diaspora together
  • Use Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Instagram, WhatsApp to be a social media peace mobilizer.

facebook: defyhatenow

twitter: @defyhatenow

Culture jamming is a tactic used to disrupt or subvert media culture and mainstream cultural institutions, using mass media to produce ironic or satirical commentary about itself, often subverting the original medium’s communication method. Memes & gifs are contemporary culture jamming tools that bring new understanding or angles to a particular theme or idea.

Blending ideas of a music improvisation (jam session) and culture jamming, #PeaceJam is an informal, community oriented peacebuilding event, process or activity where anyone interested in peace and cultural dialogue can get together in person and online to share their ideas, visions and hopes for the future – and to make new friends and connections. A #PeaceJam may be based on agreed actions or ideas suggested by participants, or may be wholly improvisational.


To “jam” for peace is to improvise peacebuilding without extensive preparation or predefined arrangements, but to develop new ideas and ways of doing things spontaneously with the energy coming from the creative interaction of the participants. The #PeaceJam17 host acts as a “conductor” bringing different performers, activists and others together, to focus on all manners of peacebuilding, with individual ideas, slogans and connections to others online while using, and learning about social media.  #defyhatenow #Peacejam17 supports South Sudanese citizens, youth and civil society to occupy the global social media landscape with peacebuilding, taking action against hate, conflict and incitement to violence.

#peacejam17 #defyhatenow#SouthSudan

#LetsTalk #thinkB4Uclick #BloodFree2017 #AnaTaban #theSouthSudanwewant  #SawaShabab #Peace4ALL

While you are #peacejamming, actively look for; link to; comment on and share any other South Sudan related peace, cultural, artistic or positive development stories, organisations (grassroots, literacy, education, youth, women’s, diaspora groups) or online peacebuilding and social media activism campaigns.

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What can everyone of us do to promote peace?

What does peace mean to you?

What are the symbols of peace in your culture / community / family?

How can peace impact our communities?


Peace is the only thing that people can’t have enough of

Peace is like change, it starts within, so let’s get to work everyone!!

#defyhatenow #peacejam17 presents events in South Sudan, Kenya, Uganda & Canada, connecting online with peacebuilders in the South Sudanese diaspora

#defyhatenow aims:

  • to raise awareness of and develop means for countering social media based hate speech, conflict rhetoric and directed online incitement to violence.
  • to amplify ‘positive influencers’ occupying South Sudan’s social media landscape with voices of peacebuilding and counter-messaging rather than leaving that space open to agents of conflict.
  • to bring the South Sudanese diaspora into peacebuilding dialogue online




Venue: Nimera Talata Basketball Court

We will use music, drama and sports as a way of getting the young and the old to laugh, cheer and listen to messages of peace. Speakers include representative from #defyhatenow, peace activists, and representative from the German embassy. The day ends with a basketball match of mixed boys and girls teams.



We hold a Marathon for 10 teams (5 for kids and 5 for adults), then peace messages, dramas, songs, poems and more. Communities on/offline share ways of bringing peace home together.

Vine High School Students #defyhatenow BOR South Sudan

Vine High School Students #defyhatenow BOR South Sudan


The #PeaceJam in Torit will gather youths from communities in Eastern Equatoria to spread the culture of peace through drama and traditional performances (dance/music). The workshop shall engage participants with an introduction to understand the impact of online hate speech and incitement to violence, followed by a focused discussion and idea sharing on practical ways that community and youth leaders can engage in countering hate speech and mitigating incitement to violence in their communities, both online and offline. The outdoor event brings this message to the rest of the community with performances from local drama groups, artists, and peace activists.

#PEACEJAMNAIROBI: Arts reflecting on Cultural diversity in South Sudan

This year’s Peace Jam will feature performances by South Sudanese artists and poets to an audience of South Sudanese diaspora community in Nairobi. This informal event aims at bridging gaps between different communities by sharing different cultural experiences from South Sudan. Guest of honour will be renowned Abyei-born South Sudanese author and poet, Akol Miyen Kuol, also known as Akoldit. Akol will share his poem collection entitled ‘The Last Train’, referring to the August 2015 peace agreement. He calls on both men to ensure that South Sudanese citizens do not miss that last train.

#PEACEJAMRHINOCAMP: Yoro playground in Rhino Camp will be the central event location.

YSAT with support from #DefyHateNow and other partners will organise the #PeaceJam in Rhino Camp to bring young people together talking about Peacebuilding and raising awareness about how to avoid involving themselves in hate speech against their community members, tribes and colleagues. Drama, Poems and Music4Peace Concert will engage young people to make pledges of peace to #defyhatenow as they use social media responsibly in their daily life, and to create a platform to unite their efforts to fight tribalism, violence and hate speech online and offline with community led peacebuilding and intercultural engagement. Our target group are the local Refugee population in the 33 Villages of Rhino Camp with empathy to South Sudanese Youth, supporting their efforts to build peace outside their home country.

#defyhatenow social media #peacejam Rhino Camp, Uganda 21st September 2016 Photo: Jaiksana #peacejam at Rhino Camp, Uganda #peacevillage Photo: Jaiksana

#defyhatenow social media #peacejam Rhino Camp, Uganda 21st September 2016 Photo: Jaiksana
#peacejam at Rhino Camp, Uganda #peacevillage Photo: Jaiksana

About YSAT: Youth Social Advocacy Team is a Refugee Youth led Community based organization working with and for Youth to engage them in peacebuilding, meaningfully empowering them to be change agents, SGBV activists, and successful entrepreneurs while connected with the global networks of young people.


South Sudanese community members who attend the #PeaceJam17 in #Edmonton on September 21, 2017 will have the opportunity to share their innovative ideas about how to achieve peace in South Sudan. The goal will be to have the participants address the South Sudanese issues from a positive, solution-focused, peacebuilding lens, as a diaspora community.
In order for #PeaceJam17 #Edmonton participants to concentrate on sharing and attentively listening to other participants contributions, participants will be discouraged from using social media during the first part of #PeaceJam17. Once the discussion is concluded, #PeaceJam17 #Edmonton will transition into part two of the event, featuring social media posting/sharing. #PeaceJam17 #Edmonton participants will have the opportunity to post their peace ideas and messages that they have generated during the discussion onto social media – Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Instagram etc. Participants will be encourage to create a habit of consistently posting peace messages on social media – because peace is something we should be preaching everyday not just at #PeaceJam events or International Day of Peace, which comes once a year.


#defyhatenow seeks ways to involve the diaspora community in online peacebuilding activities.

Exile and diaspora groups are key actors in reducing the level and intensity of online hate, as South Sudanese living outside of South Sudan have a direct impact on South Sudan through social media. Diaspora communities are closely linked with civil society actors in South Sudan, facilitating solutions to the effects of social media hate and incitement to violence within the diaspora itself. We are interested in connecting with communities of the South Sudanese diaspora in USA, Canada & Australia to bring these questions into a wider discussion and engage with citizens to #defyhatenow.

IDP_2017_Final_with UN logo_Web

International Day of Peace

“Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”

This year, the International Day of Peace will focus on engaging and mobilizing people throughout the world to show support for refugees and migrants. Its messages will be shared with communities hosting refugees and migrants as well as people concerned that refugees and migrants may bring physical and economic insecurity to their lives.

“In times of insecurity, communities that look different become convenient scapegoats,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres:

“We must resist cynical efforts to divide communities and portray neighbours as ‘the other’. Discrimination diminishes us all. It prevents people — and societies — from achieving their full potential. Together, let us stand up against bigotry and for human rights. Together, let us build bridges. Together, let us transform fear into hope.”

The Day will highlight solidarity with refugees and migrants and showcase the shared benefits of migration to economies and nations, while also acknowledging legitimate concerns of host communities. Ultimately, it will be about bringing people together and reminding them of their common humanity.

Say No to Hate Speech #defyhatenow BOR

Say No to Hate Speech #defyhatenow BOR

#defyhatenow: Mobilising Civic Action Against Hate Speech and Directed Social Media Incitement to Violence in South Sudan

#defyhatenow is an urgent community peacebuilding, training and conflict reconciliation project aiming to support grassroots efforts to avoid media induced violence in South Sudan, through the vehicle of social media. We seek to enable those affected by the conflict to bring down the tone of online rhetoric, help the reconciliation process between their communities and develop a vocabulary with which to support ongoing peace and stability.

#defyhatenow responds to South Sudan’s ongoing civil crisis by addressing the roles played by social media users in exacerbating or helping to mitigate these issues, since the eruption of conflict in December 2013 and July 2016.

Our vision is to strengthen the voices and support the actions of youth, women’s and civil society organizations, peace activists and independent journalists in South Sudan to develop strategies to mitigate such scenarios, as part of a wider global ‘dangerous speech’ mitigation community. Also to create an awareness of the impact hate speech has in potentially fuelling conflict and how social media can be used in a constructive and peacebuilding manner.

#defyhatenow is funded by the ifa – Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (zivik) with means of the German Federal Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt).

Social Media is a gift to us, Father. Luis Tony Okot ,#defyhatenow

South Sudanese musician Adol Hakima #defyhatenow & #GivePeaceAChance

Achol Jok,In #SouthSudan questioning is not part of our culture

defyhatenow bloggers

#defyhatenow bloggers workshop

Report from #defyhatenow workshop with South Sudanese bloggers in Nairobi, 27-28 July 2017

We sometimes forget that our online voices reach a wider audience than just our friends. Team #defyhatenow is reminding South Sudanese nationals that we need to continue working together to make the online spaces we inhabit more peaceful and tolerant.

Having a platform online gives everyone a voice, and empowers all of us to share our thoughts and contribute to global discussions. What you do with the “little big” audience you have is what matters. We are not just ordinary citizens of our respective countries, we are citizens of the world, and in a minute your online message could bring peace or exacerbate conflict in the world offline.


Kenya is an example of a country where blogging has moved from a revolution to a way of life. The Bloggers Association of Kenya (BAKE) is at the forefront of this transformation. It is a community association of Kenyan bloggers and writers that promotes online content creation & free expression in Kenya.

BAKE connects blogs in Kenya from all areas of interest and expertise. It was formed in 2011 after a series of discussions concerning content creation and consumption of online content in Kenya.


Topics covered included an introduction to blogging, how to set up a personal blog, ethical considerations, an overview of citizen journalism and storytelling for positive change in sessions from Kachwanya of BAKE, Caleb and Theo of PeaceTech lab, writer and blogger Kendi, with support from our #defyhatenow team project manager and social media manager.

Participants were able to create their own personal blogs, using Medium and WordPress.

The bloggers workshop also focused on strategies for understanding information verification and fact checking. PeaceTech Lab facilitated a session on how to detect and report instances of hate speech and online propaganda on Facebook and other social media platforms. PeaceTech Lab published the Lexicon of Hate speech terms in South Sudan, and conducts ongoing monitoring and analysis shared through the Open Situation Room Exchange (OSRx).


We all need to be extremely careful about what we share because we reach an audience of more than our friends. Since you have the choice of how to speak and write, it’s important to choose your words wisely, and use them to promote understanding, tolerance and peace – online and offline.

#defyhatenow seeks to support those voices acting against the conflict to go ‘viral’ within and outside the country – bringing the South Sudanese diaspora into the online peacebuilding framework, bridging gaps of knowledge and awareness of social media mechanisms between those with access to technology and those without.

Click here to see more photos

cultural dance #defyhatenow

I am Maura Ajak, I report on gender-based violence in South Sudan

South Sudan will be rebuilt by the South Sudanese people. Everyone is passionate about building a little piece of their South Sudan and impacting the country in their own little big way.

This is the first article in our “I #defyhatenow “series. we will be featuring South Sudanese citizens talking about their daily lives and how they defy hate and opt for peace through their work. 

We caught up with the courageous Maura Metbeni Paul Luigi Ajak, an award-winning reporter working for The Catholic Radio Network in Juba, South Sudan.


Here is our chat:

Have you lived in South Sudan all your life?

I was born in Wau but I grew up in Khartoum, Sudan. I came back to South Sudan in 2008.

I started my studies in Khartoum, where I did both my primary and secondary school certificate at  Combonian Catholic Schools.

What inspired you to become a journalist?

I have witnessed a lot of gender-based violence. I have heard of massive rape done by uniformed men where women/girls are randomly raped by two or three men at a go. Underage girls between the ages of 11-15 are gang raped like they are toys to play with. They lose their innocence and are scarred for life because of such experiences. Being a woman in South Sudan I knew I had a voice and an opportunity and I knew I wanted to tell these stories, so that maybe someone can help. It was my way of helping my fellow women.


I also happen to speak both English and Arabic which helps in communication and reporting.

Tell me a gender-based violence experience you have witnessed.

One time, early in the morning at around 6:30 AM I heard a woman screaming, “HE WILL KILL ME, HE WILL KILL ME” I dressed in a hurry and I rushed outside. I found a husband beating his wife with a black leather belt, at first I thought it was the guy who sells water as the whips sound similar when applied to a donkey. Looking closer I saw a woman wailing and a man hurling insults at her while beating her, as the men surrounding them watched laughing and encouraging the husband.

Our neighbor grabbed the leather belt and shouted at him to stop it. That’s when everyone left in a hurry. As a woman there was nothing I could do to stop him. I stood there and painfully watched because if I dared to interfere I would be harassed endlessly but it was painful to stand by.

Has someone been violent towards you directly?

Not physically, just verbally and mostly from men. I think for just being a woman with a job and also being a journalist is enough to warrant some form of violence here.

Most of your work is based on human rights and transparency issues and South Sudan, why is that?

I am a woman and most of the cases concerning human rights violations involve women being abused in one way or another. Not many people want to talk about these issues but they need to be told openly to the world.

Underage girls and women who are gang raped need someone to tell their stories to, even if it’s anonymously. I had a case where a girl had been brought to the hospital by the Bishop. She had been gang-raped; her clothes were soiled and bloody. Her body was swollen; she was crying and was inconsolable. I was so angry and bitter with the world. If I was alone I might have punched the air to release the tension but I remained calm because I had to do the story and give that girl strength.


What challenges do you face because of your work?

It can be scary especially in South Sudan but I like my work so I always ensure I get my information from trusted sources to avoid complications. It’s also hard to gather sensitive information, especially when it is fresh so I give it time to cool down then I start digging for information afresh.

Maura Ajak

You have been recognized and awarded for your reporting on transparency and gender issues in South Sudan;  how did that feel and what does this award mean to you?

I really felt honored, it is a lift up stage for me to do more as a human rights defender. The award has given me the courage to bring up the unheard voices In terms of issues that considered a taboo in some communities.




What are your hopes for journalism in South Sudan?

I hope we have an institution where journalists can gather and get updates on the happenings routinely. I also hope we have a space where human rights issues and sensitive issues e.g conflicts and gender-based violence can reported with the openness they deserve.

How do you think  South Sudanese nationals can use social media to defy hate and preach peace?

We should feel free to share our experiences in a way that impacts the world positively. Childhood stories, old stories from our ancestors and day to day stories showing the progress and steps we have made as a country. These stories would help to achieve peace by creating awareness about the consequences of war.

What would you tell anyone reading this?

No one thrives in war. Most people love peace and peace begins with you and me. Let’s not incite each other and especially with this era of social media let’s thrive to preach peace. #defyhatenow



This interview was conducted & written by Kendi Gikunda  . The opinions expressed in this article are the Interviewee’s own and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of #defyhatenow.

What is South Sudan if we are divided?

What is #SouthSudan if we are divided?

Signposts with peace messages distributed to schools in Bor Town, Jonglei State. Connecting local slogans to #socialmedia for media literacy + #peacebuilding!

Say No to Hate Speech #defyhatenow BOR

Say No to Hate Speech #defyhatenow BOR


#defyhatenow correspondent Bior Ajang Jaden Biorology makes a passionate appeal to students in Bor town. Watch Video here.

Vine High School Students #defyhatenow BOR South Sudan

Bor College High School Students #defyhatenow South Sudan

These young ladies from Bor College High School are encouraging parents in #SouthSudan to keep their daughters at school.


“I need pen not gun” #defyhatenow #SouthSudan #Bor #Peace4ALL

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Online & offline hate speech in South Sudan, Illustrations by Hannah Rounding

A series of illustrations made by artist Hannah Rounding. The images are a series of visual training aids produced for the #dehyahtenow . The materials are designed to be used by NGOs, schools, universities, journalists and community groups to create awareness, discussion and understanding around social media based hate speech, the impact of this on the ground and ways social media can be used to mitigate violence.


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About  Hannah Rounding

Hannah is an artist/illustrator and international development professional. Ishe specialises in designing and delivering creative community development projects that span the arts, cultural heritage, media, peacebuilding, education and justice sectors. She has over 10 years’ experience working across multiple countries in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK.

I am Bior and I stand for Peace

Bior is a young South Sudanese from Bor town, who is actively engaged in peacebuilding and is part of the #defyhatenow community for the past 18 months.

Inspired by the need for Peace in his community Bior decided to organize a peacebuilding outreach in Bor town.

Bior’s passion for peace is deeply held, and despite the many challenges and difficulties, he continues to be optimistic and utilizes every chance he has to spread peace and share with his community. The recent Peace Outreach is just one of the many activities Bior is engaged in.


[excerpts from Bior’s report]

After two days of outreach from school to school on #defyhatenow, these were the requests from the teachers.

Small sign posts with peace notes. These small sign posts will be used to write important peace notes and spread around the school like the ones the team to Bweyale saw on the school compound. This will help remind teachers, students and parents that come to school and the messages of peace will continue to spread around the communities every day.

Peace - Respect

History books. The teacher suggested that if there could be any way #defyhatenow can find encouraging history books on national and community peace building to be given to students to read all the time to give hope and love for their nation they would appreciate that.


Games and sports. This is the most unifying event that brings schools and communities together, because this brings all students from different schools, tribes, cultures, denominations together to competition among themselves know each other and learn from each other hence peace building come automatically among themselves.


Support orphans at schools. Orphans are the most neglected people when it comes to treatment, care, school, justice, and more. The teachers said if #defyhatenow can help generate support for orphans it could be better for them to learn and participate in peacebuilding through education and not to think or feel bad for being an orphan.

If #defyhatenow can help to do this the education will spread even to the helpless. These are some of the things we are planning to do in Bor to #defyhatenow.


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