BLOG| The Youth Innovation Challenge: Because South Sudan is Full of Young Heroes

Sep 1, 2016

A young South Sudanese asks a question during the introduction workshop for the Youth Innovation Challenge for Peace. Photo: UNDP

Last week, UNDP South Sudan office was full of young South Sudanese ready to work to make the difference in their country. They came to participate in the introduction workshop of the Youth Innovation Challenge for Peace, held on Thursday 25 August. The aim was to inform interested participants about the process, rules and characteristics of innovative ideas.

Two sessions were held, in which a total of 132 young women and men participated actively asking questions to frame their ideas according to the rules of the competition.

Conflict in South Sudan has contributed to numerous challenges that youth are facing on the ground, but the future of the country remains in their hands. Young people have the creativity and the will to highlight a different narrative about their country. One without war, hunger or insecurity, one in which people have the possibility of living a long and healthy life, of being educated, and enjoying a decent standard of living.

Through the Youth Innovation Challenge, UNDP is trying to spur home-grown solutions to mobilize young South Sudanese to become agents of change for peace building, and stands ready to provide the tools and mentorship needed to put the winning ideas into practice.

During the workshop, the participants showed their interest in making South Sudan a place where development is possible. In the next months we will see how some of them develop their ideas with UNDP’s support.

As Jean-Luc Stalon, UNDP’s Country Director, declared during the introduction workshop, “At UNDP we believe when young people are enabled to fulfil their potential, they have the power to transform their communities, build bridges across generations, and help promote peace.”

Young South Sudanese participants attend the Introduction Workshop for the Youth Innovation Challenge for Peace hosted at UNDP offices in Juba, South Sudan.Young South Sudanese participants attend the Introduction Workshop for the Youth Innovation Challenge for Peace hosted at UNDP offices in Juba, South Sudan. Photo: UNDP

If you are a young South Sudanese resident, between the ages of 18-34, with an innovative idea but you couldn’t make it to the introduction workshop, don’t worry, you still have until 6 September 2016 to send your ideas and participate in the Youth Innovation Competition for Peace. More information can be found at

If you still have doubts, contact  Semi-finalists will be announced at the end of September and invited to a Social Innovation Hackathon to further shape their ideas.

The Youth Innovation Challenge is an initiative supported by the Community Security and Arms Control project at UNDP. The challenge aims to be a catalyst to showcase how South Sudan is rich with #YoungHero |es looking for an opportunity to make an impact and bring peace to their country.

Are you ready to accept the challenge?

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