Refugee youth trained on defy hate speech

By: Gaaniko Samson Jerry

Community Empowerment for Creative Innovation (CECI) in Uganda has trained about ten South Sudanese refugees on how to mitigate hate speech in the camps.

The one-day training brought participants from Arua, Koboko the host Bidibidi Refugees settlement, Kampala and Imvepi refugee settlement.

Speaking to Juba Monitor in an interview, Patrick Chandiga Justine, the Executive Director of CECI said his organization is refugee youth-led organization that works to build peaceful community.

He said they also run peace building programs that focus on trauma healing, hate speech mitigation and community resilience.

Chandiga added that the training was part of the campaign that they were running to mitigate hate speech and miss information especially online.

“The campaign aims at raising awareness about hate speech and at the same time increasing access to online available tools for hate speech mitigation and equipping the youth with skills that can enable them to proactively combat hate speech on line,” he said.

Chandiga reiterated that hate speech and dangerous speech has wider negative impact especially on the youth who are so much addicted to the social media.

He said the experience they had in the camps was most people get wrong information from online which is not verified.

“As people share wrong information it results to high tension that lead to dead and fighting among the communities in the refugee settlement,” Chandiga explained.

Alex Luate Mikaya Ronal, staff of Support Foundation Network, a civil society organization said what they were doing was to fight out dangerous speech among the refugees in the camps.

He said there is great need to combat hate speech on line, adding the training had been going on for the last two years but they did not see any change yet.

He said hate speech was still rampant between the refugees especially the South Sudanese and the host communities.

Alex said their aim was to train young people so that they become peace ambassadors in their respective settlements.

He urged all the community leaders and all South Sudanese refugees to come together and fight hate speech to reduce violence.

Keji Easter, one of the participants said she was able to learn something from the one-day training.

She admitted reading several hate speech on the social media but did not know how to combat them.

“With what I have acquired, I am able to handle such issues regarding to hate speech on social media,” Keji said.

She called for more awareness to fight hate speech on the social media.

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