The Peace Journalism Foundation (PJF) Uganda East Africa was founded in August 2011 by a group of Ugandan Peace Journalists led by former war reporter Aciro Gloria Laker. A year later, in July 2012, PJF extended its activities to Kenya with a project on peace, development and electoral journalism reporting. The seminars were held in Eldoret and Nairobi with support from the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Ouma Wanzala of Nation Media Group Eldoret coordinates the Kenya activities.
PJF has been operating informally since 2009 and has worked closely with local peace groups from Northern Uganda.
This is the first peace media organisation in East Africa with a mission to promote peace journalism practices among journalists in the region through training, establishing networks with their audiences and finding local solutions to various social problems using non-violent means.
PJF main areas of work:
- In-house mentoring for selected Television and Radio stations in Uganda and Kenya.
- Peaceful, balanced and accurate coverage of development and elections in East Africa without compromising the principles of good journalism.
- Collaboration and networking with citizens and security on the prevention of terrorism and extreme violence acts from East Africa.
- Increasing the use of Public Service Announcements (PSA) as an outreach tool in addressing different social issues aimed at reconciling communities and bringing peace. To date, the foundation has produced PSAs on the following topics: PSA ‘prevention of terrorism acts’, PSA on ‘peaceful election’, PSA on 'preventing domestic violence’, and others. These PSAs are produced by PJF and aired for free by community radio stations.
- Radio Contest, PJF conducts a peace reporting radio contest to encourage and promote peace stories.
- PJF works closely with 15 community peace clubs in Uganda formed under ‘Community Engagement’ (CE) in different parts of Uganda. These clubs work closely with the media to build peace.
The establishment of 15 community peace clubs in Uganda is one PJF success story. The peace club is helping communities to resolve different conflicts using non violence means by talking to both parties.
The peace club is composed of representatives of community leaders including elders, youths, women, business people, schools, institutions, religious and local leaders, Rotary clubs, farmers’ representatives, security and the media.
The groups meet regularly to review what is happening around them and brainstorm ways to resolve a particular conflict. To date, the peace clubs have mediated and resolved several cases of tribal conflicts, child abuse, domestic violence, land disputes, and property struggles.