The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence, for this 2022 Edition, has been given to Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong from Cameroon, President of the NGOs #Afrogiveness and Positive Youths Africa. She will receive the Prize at an official ceremony to be held on 15 November at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, in Room I, from 6 to 7 pm (GMT +1).
14 November 2022
As a journalist for seven years, Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong has strived for changing the way mental illness is viewed and represented in society. Trained in art therapy and psychology, she and became the founder and president of two NGOs: Afrogiveness Movement (#Afrogiveness) and Positive Youths Africa (PYA).
Both NGOs are peace education initiatives. Their ambition is to enable traumatized survivors of interfaith and intercultural conflicts in nine African countries (Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan and Togo) to heal from their trauma through the universal language of the arts.
Through these organizations, Franca Ma-ih Sulem Yong has worked tirelessly to promote tolerance and non-violence through the reintegration of survivors from opposing sides of wars and conflicts into their host communities. She also seeks to combat the spread of online hate speech through the promotion of digital citizenship education.
The laureate's sphere of action through her NGOs is very broad and multidimensional. She offers psychosocial and educational support (art therapy), socio-economic support (distribution of university scholarships, diploma training, hygienic products, books) and legal support.
The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence is awarded every two years to individuals or institutions for their exceptional contributions to the promotion of tolerance and non-violence through the arts, education, culture, science and communication. The laureate will receive US$ 100,000.
The Prize is named after its benefactor, former Indian artist, writer and diplomat, Madanjeet Singh (1924-2013), who was also a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. The Prize, that contributes to the mandate of UNESCO in the promotion of peace, is managed by the Social and Human Sciences Sector of UNESCO.