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NGO WPDI and BNP Paribas launch a programme of ambassadors for peace and entrepreneurship in South Africa

On Friday, 14 December 2018, BNP Paribas and the foundation Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI), founded by Forest Whitaker, signed a 5-year partnership. Its objective? To enable young people in Cape Town to become ambassadors for peace and entrepreneurship in their community.

Promoting peace and encouraging entrepreneurship among South African youth

Created in 2012 by actor and social activist Forest Whitaker, the foundation Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI) works to promote the training and integration of youth from vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, particularly in Africa, Latin America and the United States, by providing better living conditions.

How? By offering them training that will develop their skills in new technologies, entrepreneurship, mediation and conflict resolution.

The Youth Peacemaker Network, the flagship programme of WPDI, aims to bring together young women and men seeking to embody positive forces and to make their voice heard to promote change in communities affected by conflict and endemic violence.After launching the Youth Peacemaker Network programme in several East African countries and Mexico, WPDI joined forces with BNP Paribas in order to expand its activity in South Africa. The programme will offer support to 360 youth in Cape Town who, once trained, will become ambassadors for peace and will develop educational initiatives and job creation projects, as well as services for the city and its residents. 

This 5-year partnership will add to the support already provided to WPDI by Bank of the West, BNP Paribas subsidiary in the US, and is in line with the Group’s commitment to promoting the integration of young people.

The programme contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN, especially goal no. 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.

Empower and inspire youth to achieve lasting peace and sustainable development.

Highlights of the partnership's signature

BNP Paribas partners with the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative, the NGO created by artist and social activist Forest Whitaker, to foster peace and encourage entrepreneurial initiatives 

Screening of Forgiven at the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

UNESCO special envoy for peace and reconciliation, Forest Whitaker went to UNESCO 15 December 2018 to premiere The Forgiven, a plea for peace, in which Whitaker plays Desmond Tutu, iconic South African figure and defender of human rights.

Directed by Roland Joffé, the film chronicles the history of Desmond Tutu, chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in post-apartheid South Africa, and his encounter with a prisoner serving a life sentence.

The film will be released in theatre on 9 January 2019.

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