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ACHALEKE CHRISTIAN LEKE WINNER OF THE LUXEMBOURG PEACE PRIZE AWARD 2018.

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ACHALEKE CHRISTIAN LEKE WINNER OF THE LUXEMBOURG PEACE PRIZE AWARD 2018.

On Friday the 22nd of June 2018, Mr Achaleke Christian Leke, National Coordinator of Local Youth Corner Cameroon and Pan- Commonwealth Coordinator of the Commonwealth Youth Peace Ambassadors Network was honoured to be the recipient of the Luxembourg Peace Prize Award by the Schengen Peace Foundation and the World Peace Forum. The award is a recognition of his preeminent efforts and initiatives to promote peace and community development. This award was given during a ceremony that took place at the Robert Schuman Building in Luxembourg bringing together professionals and experts in this domain.


Achaleke Christian Leke is a young development, civil society activist, University lecturer and a youth expert on peace building and counter violent extremism. With over 12 years of experience, he has dedicated a considerable part of his life in the promotion of peace. Drawing from his experiences while growing up in Fiango-Kumba, a neighbourhood plagued with violence in the South West Region of Cameroon, he developed a niche to be better and to use the circumstances that plagued that community as an inspiration to advocate for peace and reduce violent extremism. His efforts in peace building earned him the 2016 Commonwealth Young Person of the year award and he used this platform to champion the adoption and implementation of UNSCR 2250. As a young person, he strives to shape the role of young people in the process of development and sustainable peace.

 
This award comes at a time in Cameroon when the country is struck by a lot of violence and radicalisation. It equally comes at a time of rebirth of many young peace builders in Cameroon whose efforts towards restoring peace in the country can only be recognised by one of theirs. Mr Achaleke is a national symbol of inspiration and was awarded Cameroon’s Young Person of the year 2016. His award as Luxembourg Peace Prize winner 2018 is demonstration of continuous dedication and stands as a glimmer of hope to the youths and to the Cameroonian society at large. He carries on by saying ‘‘If we all long for peace then we need to let love lead, we must grow our humanity, we must uphold justice, equity, fairness and the rule of law’’. He continues his advocacy at a National level as National Coordinator of Local Youth Corner where he is presently executing The Creative Skills for Peace Project which targets effectively rehabilitating and reintegrating 300 young violent offenders and juveniles directly and 5000 indirectly within the Prison and juvenile facilities. This award inspires him to work twice as hard for an entire generation looks up to him in the domain of peace building.

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CREATIVE SKILLS FOR PEACE INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITIONS: A STEP FURTHER

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CREATIVE SKILLS FOR PEACE INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITIONS: A STEP FURTHER

Our society is gradually pushing youths in to extremities and this vibrant population is often at odds with the law, because of this, most of them find themselves incarcerated or extremely radicalised. The Creative Skills for Peace project is built to fight against radicalisation and recidivism in a bid to build social cohesion through the vocational skill training it offers to prisoners. Knowing that they have a 90% chance of returning in to prison after serving their sentence for lack of jobs and societal stigma; the organisation Local Youth Corner Cameroon put forth a project to help build and rebuild the capacities of these young violent offenders who find themselves in prison and to help change the narrative on how society receives them. LOYOC is in the second phase of this project and she has a duty of transforming these inmates into Prisonpreneurs and in the next phase she has to ensure the sustainability of these mini entrepreneurial ventures through identifying International and Local markets for the amazing products. In addition to this, we are building their capacities in communication, marketing and sale of their products when they eventually reintegrate themselves in to the society. All the above leads to increase revenue generation and eventual expansion of their ventures through the ploughing back of profit which is in line with the long term vision and objective of the project’s sustainability.

The products by Prisonpreneurs hit the international market in an unexpected way, as we had our ever first exhibition at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre London during the Commonwealth head of government meeting and youth forum in London 2018. The products had glorious reviews from people who purchased or even those who came in contact with the product. Not only did it change their perception of the people who now do not only consider prisoners to be young violent offenders but now view them as Prisonpreneurs, it also encouraged them to be more invested in the fight against radicalisation and to work towards including young people in policy making.

The second international exhibition was in Luxembourg during the 7th edition of Luxembourg Peace Prize Award which took place on the 22nd of June 2018 at the Robert Schuman Building in Luxembourg. This exhibition left many people thrilled as they witnessed first-hand the end product of great creativity blended with passion from inmates. It exhibited the CS4Peace project as a platform which has a great potential of reducing radicalisation, recidivism and also serves as a medium of hope for youths within and out of prison. This project already has a domino effect within the prison walls judging from the wonderful testimonies of other inmates.

Having these products cut across the world at the speed at which we have seen, can only mean passion, dedication and the zeal to change has been imparted in these young violent offenders. Local Youth Corner Cameroon, through her incredible team has worked tirelessly to take the Prisonpreneurs international. This project will serve as a point of reference for many other projects and these exhibitions are ways of showing to the general public that change is possible when effort and heart is put in to it.

 

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October 2018
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