Enhancing ethical peace reporting in Yemen: the Peace Journalism Initiative

In April 2021, UNESCO GCC and Yemen office and RNW Media launched a second open call inviting young Yemenis to submit “solutions” to achieving peace in their country. Among the several submissions for this call, 7 promising initiatives have been selected and supported to further develop their ideas. These projects, referred to as “My Solution” are developed by the youth for the youth across Yemen and led by socially active young people from the civil society. 

Among the selected participants is the Peace Journalism initiative, a platform and recently registered NGO led by young Yemeni journalists, aiming to enhance credible and ethical peace reporting according to high journalism standards. Part of their efforts to empower journalists, youth, women and minorities, the initiative regularly organizes workshops that discuss a range of topics related to peacebuilding and achieving social cohesion. The Peace Journalism initiative perceived their participation in “My Solution” as an opportunity to reach a large number of youth and enhance their awareness on peacebuilding matters such as the role of the United Nations Special Envoy in peace mediation, and the United Nations Resolutions 1325 and 2250 related to the role of women and youth in peace and security.

The project entitled “Peace Lounge”, included discussion sessions, attended by 24 young women and men activists, during which peacebuilding experts presented their experiences and knowledge on peace related matters emphasizing on the importance of including the youth and women in the upcoming peace negotiations.

The feedback received from the participants was remarkable, the youth are highly interested in engaging in conversations and efforts contributing to peace”. Ben Sahel added, “To ensure that the knowledge gained during these sessions is shared with a greater audience, we plan to invite 4 of the young women and men participants to present their peace success stories during our final project event.
Salem Ben Sahel, Founder of the initiative

In parallel, the initiative launched an online awareness campaign, utilizing its social media presence, to engage with the youth and enhance their knowledge on peacebuilding processes. Additionally, in the upcoming month, the Peace Journalism initiative will be launching an online competition inviting Yemeni artists to submit their art productions that express peace, and countering violence and discrimination. The top 3 submissions, which could include photography, paintings, music, movies and graphics, will be posted on social media to receive the audience’s voting. Subsequently to conclude the project, the team will organize an offline awareness raising event, gathering around 120 participants, which will feature peace related artworks, peacebuilding success stories and art performances.

Salem Ben Sahel, added that their participation in ‘My Solution’ is also beneficial to his team as they are gaining solid skills.

We are able to strengthen our competencies in project planning and implementation, budgeting and financial management, and outcome evaluation. These skills are highly valuable for our organization’s sustainability”. On a final note, Ben Sahel mentioned that “Through implementing this project and after, we hope to be able to continue reaching to the youth to achieve our goal of raising their awareness on peacebuilding developments.
Salem Ben Sahel, Founder of the initiative