The Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI) was founded by American actor Forest Whitaker seven years ago to promote peace and social upliftment within communities affected by conflict or violence. The WPDI also trains young people in conflict resolution and mentors them to be entrepreneurs in their communities.Areas across the Cape Flats have been identified, including Mitchell’s Plain.An effective way to ensure that young people understand the importance of peace and negotiation is by being taught the necessary conflict resolution skills as a mediator. The programmes also equip young people with entrepreneurship skills and offer an alternative to joining gangs. “We appreciate the efforts by Mr Whitaker and his organisation to uplift vulnerable communities. The City of Cape Town welcomes any efforts by organisations to uplift the circumstances of communities to foster positive change and spread skills. The City will investigate possible ways of supporting the outcomes of the programmes through our own initiatives,” says Cape Town’s mayor Dan Plato.“The WPDI is now operating in five countries including Sudan, Uganda, Mexico, United States of America (USA) and South Africa. It opened a few months ago in Athlone on the Cape Flats.”There are currently 46 young people enrolled in this initiative. The aim is to see 360 teenagers, identified by community leaders, enrolled. Those who complete the training will go on to upskill other residents.