Jaiksana Soro -South Sudan

Jaiksana is a 23 year old South Sudanese refugee living in northern Uganda. He was studying journalism in 2016 but was forced to move due to the conflict that swept his province later that year. War broke out in his home country, South Sudan, in 2013, when the president accused his former vice president of an attempted coup - this later led to an uneasy relationship between the tribes from which the president and his former vice hailed from. This escalated to full blown civil conflict which was marked with violent atrocities against civilians by uniformed men - soldiers. The war caught up with Jaiksana three years later.

In the refugee camps, most of the communities living there still have mindsets shaped by the landscape of the war which was based around tribal agendas. Jaiksana created #PeaceVillage - a digital literacy and hate speech mitigation program. Together with his team, he developed the #defyhatenow initiative, an urgent community peace building, training, and conflict reconciliation project aiming to strengthen the voices and support the actions of peace and youth-oriented civil society organizations in South Sudan and South Sudanese diaspora communities. He also wrote and produced the hit #Peace4ALL music video.

His work is geared towards raising awareness about ,and developing means to mitigate social media-based hate speech, conflict rhetoric and online incitement of violence. It seeks to support the voices acting against the conflict to go viral 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 with access to technology and those without.

Last year alone, he trained 450 youth on peace building. His ambition is to run for office in the near future so that he can prove the meaning of the common saying, "What war can do, peace can do better."

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