Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative works with young men and women to develop their skills as leaders, as peace builders, and community builders.About WPDI
Empowering Change: 751 Women Achieve Business and Entrepreneurship Graduation in South Africa through WPDI Initiative
November 30, 2023 - Last week, our founder, Forest Whitaker, led a special graduation...Read more
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Our ProgramsDiscover our programs
Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with not-for-profits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com.
L’Oréal, historically committed to supporting women, launched in 2020 the L’Oréal Fund for Women, a three-year charitable endowment fund of 50 million euros to support grassroots associations and organizations in their efforts to help women to get out of poverty and prevent domestic/sexual violence against women and support survivors. Particular attention is paid to projects aiming at helping women with multiple vulnerabilities, especially refugee women and women with disabilities. Beyond emergency aid, the L’Oréal Fund for Women focuses on supporting women and girls’ empowerment, particularly by supporting projects in favor of social and professional integration and overcoming obstacles to access to education.
Within the framework of UNITAR, the Division for Peace supports the (re-) establishment of peaceful, just, and inclusive societies (SDG 16) by enabling individuals and organizations to contribute meaningfully to sustainable peace. With almost 60 years of experience in capacity building, UNITAR provides customized, creative, and results-based learning solutions, carefully crafted for countries and communities emerging from conflict and facing specific development needs. At the core of the UNITAR’s approach is a specific methodology that allows for the creation of powerful and inspiring spaces, products, and services for high-quality learning and collaboration, as well as promotes participation, dialogue, local ownership, and multiplication of knowledge for sustainable impact and behavioral change. In the spirit of the groundbreaking United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security, youth empowerment, in particular, forms one of the key pillars of UNITAR’s programming.
The South Cooperation Department
The South Cooperation Department finances development projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Carribean. The five divisions within the department are supported in these activities by specialists in their fields and multilateral experts. Through their thematic networks (basic education, economy and employment promotion including vocational education and training, conflict prevention and human rights, gender equality, poverty reduction), these divisions strengthen their expertise and promote dialogue and the exchange of experiences with other actors. They are also responsible for relations with the African, Asian, and Inter-American development banks.
Islamic Development Bank
The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is a multilateral development bank that has been working for over 40 years to improve the lives of the communities it serves by delivering impact at scale. It brings together 57 countries across four continents, touching the lives of 1 in 5 of the world’s population. It is one of the world’s largest multilateral development banks, with an annual volume of operations above $10 billion and subscribed capital of $33 billion. In line with their mission is to equip people to drive their own economic and social progress at scale, IsDB is partnering with WPDI in Karamoja subregion, one of the most challenged areas of Uganda in terms of peace and economic development. With the support of IsDB, young women and men from the region will be empowered to drive positive change in their communities.
The IKEA Foundation works to create a better everyday life for the many people. As the philanthropic arm of INGKA Foundation, the owner of the IKEA Group of companies, we focus on improving the lives of vulnerable children by enabling their families to create sustainable livelihoods, and to fight and cope with climate change. IKEA Foundation has supported WPDI since 2015 to establish the Youth Peacemaker Network in South Sudan to empower young people from vulnerable and conflict-affected communities to become peacebuilders and entrepreneurs.
Western Union Foundation
At the Western Union Foundation, we believe that education is the surest pathway to economic opportunity – leading to improved job placements and increased earning potential. We collaborate with nonprofits around the world to provide demand-driven skills training and workforce enablement programs for the people who need it most. We also support disaster relief and humanitarian aid efforts to provide immediate relief and sustainable rebuilding for communities in crisis. The Western Union Foundation is partnering with WPDI at the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Uganda for 2017-2022 as well as in Mexico 2018-2020.
Education Above All
The Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC) of the Education Above All Foundation (EAA) was founded in 2009 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education, to undertake global law and policy advocacy on the protection of the right to education in contexts of insecurity and armed conflict. PEIC works with global and local partners to protect the right to education at the global policy level, and to empower and mobilize communities to advocate for these rights where they are under threat. In particular, PEIC works to identify and support the most marginalized and vulnerable communities. PEIC stresses the use of international law to combat violations against human rights, particularly the right to education, to ensure accountability of perpetrators who attack education. PEIC promotes the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by calling for inclusive and quality education in line with SDG 4; a commitment to the inclusion of women and girls to promote SDG 5; and the safeguarding of the rule of law that is enshrined in SDG 16.
Svenska Postkod Stiftelsen
The Swedish Postcode Foundation is a beneficiary of the Swedish Postcode Lottery and provides support to projects that foster positive social impact or search for long-term solutions to global challenges. Since 2007, the foundation has distributed over one billion SEK in support of more than 500 projects in Sweden and internationally. The Swedish Postcode Foundation joined forces with WPDI in 2014 and supports peacebuilding and entrepreneurship programs in Mexico, South Sudan and Uganda.
A key global player in finance, BNP Paribas is also a committed player in the inner cities, and mobilizes all its resources to have a positive impact in the regions in which it is located. Whether through its operations or through the solutions it develops for its clients, BNP Paribas has made the inclusion of young people one of the major challenges of its engagement policy. By teaming up with WPDI, BNP Paribas will give young people from the Flats in Cape Town access to an education program that will enable them to become peacemakers and entrepreneurs within their community.
United States African Development Foundation
The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) is the U.S. government’s African enterprise development agency. The agency invests in grassroots, small, and growing businesses, promotes local economic development, and creates pathways to prosperity for underserved communities. Utilizing a community-led development approach, USADF provides seed capital and local project management assistance to early stage enterprises addressing local challenges such as food security, energy access, and women and youth employment. From 2014 through 2018, USADF awarded more than $112 million in grants to approximately 1,000 community enterprises, impacting more than 4 million people in 20 countries across Africa. USADF and WPDI launched a new partnership in spring 2019 for an innovative program to aid post-conflict communities in South Sudan and Uganda. The new program is designed to help communities generate income to rebuild their society, while learning new skills focused on creating trust and social cohesion.
Bank of the west
Bank of the West is committed to having a positive impact on the world. We are focusing on where we feel we can make the most impact, like advancing opportunities for entrepreneurs, promoting programs for sustainable energy, and supporting efforts to help the next generation of young people prepare and engage as leaders of tomorrow. From our locations across the U.S., Bank of the West is taking action to help protect the planet, improve people’s lives, and strengthen communities. We are part of BNP Paribas, a global leader supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the bank for a changing world, we are continually seeking to improve the ways we help our customers, while contributing to more sustainable and equitable growth. Bank of the West first teamed up with WPDI in 2017 as part of the broader effort to help young people with positive life skills. Inspired by the Domestic Harmonizer Program’s (DHP) initial success and future potential, we’ve made a multi-year commitment to help expand DHP into three new schools across the greater Los Angeles area by 2022. Through this alliance, we’re proud to support WPDI’s innovative efforts to bring peace-themed educational curriculum and entrepreneurial resources to students and families in the communities we serve.
Verizon is supporting WPDI's Domestic Harmonizer Program, which delivers conflict resolution education training to middle schools. The Verizon Innovative Learning initiative provides free technology, free internet access and a next-gen, technology-infused curriculum that changes the way teachers teach and students learn.
GEMINI ENTERPRISES AFRICA
Founded by Naguib Sawriris, a leading executive in the Egyptian private sector, Gemini Enterprises Africa was created to overcome conflict, poverty, underdevelopment, gender discrimination, and youth unemployment in Africa by sponsoring young entrepreneurs and incubating start-ups. Building on a dynamic partnership model to create economic sustainability, Gemini Enterprises Africa ambitions to become Africa’s number one destination for SME equity funding and the hub for social development by offering capacity building, skills-based training, motivational funding and sustainable equity partnership. WPDI’s partnership with Gemini Enterprises Africa focuses on the incubation of local, mostly youth-led, small businesses in South Sudan. Through the Business Boot Camp program, WPDI and Gemini Enterprises Africa aim to create a ripple effect that can elevate communities towards profitable empowerment.
Telmex Telcel Foundation
Working to address the needs of the less fortunate in Mexico, the Telmex Telcel Foundation has a solid social commitment to Mexicans and a foundational objective: to influence structural problems that afflict Mexico. For the Telmex Telcel Foundation, social responsibility is an act of love for life, for our fellow human beings. It works closely with local authorities and organizations with experience and recognition in their respective fields, so that the support we provide directly impacts those who need it most. Telmex Telcel Foundation has joined forces with WPDI in 2018 for the deployment of the Youth Peacemaker Network program in Chiapas and Tijuana.
As the leading advocate of Technology for Good, Ericsson uses broadband, cloud and mobile technology to address poverty, education, health, human rights, climate change and other challenges, thus ensuring that technology is a force for good and lasting change. Ericsson seeks to engage in public private partnerships and customer engagement as a means to bring scale to its initiatives. In all cases Ericsson seeks sustainable business models over time, including blueprints for scalability and impact assessment. Living free of violent conflict is a fundamental human right. Ericsson’s contribution to the peacebuilding process starts with providing ICT solutions and education to youth in conflict-affected countries. WPDI helps youth affected by conflicts and violence to foster safer and more-productive communities in the United States, Latin America, and in Africa. ICT has proven to be a powerful catalyst in that mission. As the technology partner to WPDI, Ericsson provides ICT solutions for the youth. Working with partners like mobile network operators, the partners have enabled connectivity and internet access for the initiative via computer centers and have leveraged expertise from Ericsson’s learning academy to deliver comprehensive virtual and face-to-face education in ICT and professional skills.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was created in 1945 as a specialized agency of the UN, founded on the principle that peace must be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity. UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development, and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication, and information. Given Forest Whitaker’s role as a UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, WPDI works in close partnership with UNESCO to deliver many educational and peacebuilding programs around the world.
Engage for Peace
You have the power to act for peace whether you donate, you convince, you tell a friend, you share our initiative. Make peace grow everywhere.
11 of the UN Sustainable Development GoalsMore about our actions
1,175 youth peacemakers trained and certified as Trainers of TraineesMore about our actions
800 children and 50 teachers in Carson, California as wellMore about our actions
1,350 students at 12 secondary and primary schools
in Northem Uganda and South Sudan have been directly impacted by WPDI’s program on conflict resolution education
200 young refugees
were provided scholarships to pursue their studies in middle- and high-school
50 income-generating community projects
in South Sudan, Uganda, and Mexico employ thousands of vulnerable youths.
Over 178,000 community members
benefited from our training programs at WPDI’s
More than 68,000 refugees and host communities
benefited from our peacebuilding and educational program at the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement in Uganda
More than 20,000 IPDs
supported at the Protection of Civilians site in Juba through WPDI’s Peace Through Sports and Cinema for Peace Programs