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Music for Peace (MfP) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a Global Seed Grant from Lisle International (http://www.lisleinternational.org/) to implement a project on music advocacy in northern Uganda.

The project, “Music for Peace: Engaging Conflict-Affected Communities in Northern Uganda in Music Advocacy for Justice and Reconciliation,” will commence in June 2013 as a joint project between us, MfP, an initiative of Ugandan artists that promotes music in peacebuilding, and a Ugandan transitional justice organization, whose name and details will be announced soon. The project seeks to use music as a tool to develop inclusive narratives about the past and educate on and advocate for relationship-centered transitional justice among communities and policy-makers.

In line with Lisle International’s mission, MfP recognizes the transformational value of bringing together diverse groups of people in intercultural, intergenerational dialogue. In northern Uganda, where musical traditions remain strong, song is an underutilized avenue for community-building, personal expression, and education. Through the engagement of diverse groups, the project aims to develop three songs that can be used by local communities and civil society as educational and advocacy tools for justice and reconciliation.

The three songs—on topics of topics of victims’ conflict and post-conflict experiences, including reparations, gender justice and missing persons, among others—will be composed through interactive workshops in Gulu, Uganda, with approximately 30 participants, including ex-combatant and non-combatant conflict-affected women, victims’ groups representing families of missing persons and massacre survivors, and professional artists. Each workshop will bring diverse perspectives together for sessions on song-writing, music advocacy and transitional justice, and culminate with participants recording their songs in a professional studio. Participants will also develop strategies to promote these songs in their communities, and the songs will be launched publicly through three radio talk shows on a popular radio station that reaches more than a million people across greater northern Uganda, South Sudan, and the DRC.

This project will bolster ongoing advocacy campaigns for justice and reconciliation and provide the foundation for additional projects in music advocacy by MfP, our TBA partner, and the communities with whom they work. We will also develop a music advocacy manual out of this project to inform future interventions.

We look forward to updating you on this project in the coming months, as we get started.

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