Uganda’s “Child Soldier Reintegration” Project Receives UNAOC-BMW Group Intercultural Innovation Award

MADRID, Spain, Dec. 11, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The “Child Soldier Reintegration” project of the organization Grassroots Reconciliation Group (GRG) in Uganda was selected as one of ten global grassroots initiatives to receive the prestigious Intercultural Innovation Award from the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group, during an Awards Ceremony held last night at the Royal Theatre in Madrid, Spain. The selection process was highly competitive, with over 1,200 applications from 128 countries.

GRG’s “Child Soldier Reintegration” project helps traumatized and stigmatized former child soldiers reconcile with war-affected communities in northern Uganda through a range of innovative initiatives, including peacebuilding programs and trauma counseling.

“GRG is honored to be recognized for its work towards building long-lasting peace and reconciliation through inclusive dialogue and collaboration,” said GRG Country Director Magdalen Amony.

The “Child Soldier Reintegration” project provides a forum for former child soldiers and war-affected communities to exchange and hear one another’s voices to re-establish a sense of community and trust. GRG’s first group projects resulted in 95 percent of participants reporting improved relationships between Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) combatants and community members, as well as 91 percent improved relationships with the broader community.

The Intercultural Innovation Award supports grassroots initiatives that promote intercultural dialogue and understanding, thereby contributing to peace, cultural diversity, and more inclusive societies. This year, the Awards Ceremony was chaired by the High Representative for UNAOC and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain, H.E. Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, and Mr. Bill McAndrews, Vice President Market Communications at BMW Group.

In addition to a financial grant, GRG will receive capacity-building and mentorship support from UNAOC and the BMW Group to help the “Child Soldier Reintegration” project expand and replicate to other contexts. This model of collaboration between the United Nations and the private sector creates a more profound impact, as both partners provide their respective expertise to ensure the sustainable growth of each project.

Learn more about the project:
https://interculturalinnovation.org/child-soldier-reintegration-project/

Media inquiries:
– Ms. Milena Pighi, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, BMW Group: Phone (Germany): +49-89-382-66563; Email: Milena.PA.Pighi@bmw.de
– Mr. Alessandro Girola, Programming Coordinator, UNAOC: Phone (USA): +1 (929) 274-6217; Email: alessandrog@unops.org