The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) nominated Ugandan lawyer and grassroots activist Victor Ochen and his African Youth Initiative Network for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. According to the African Leadership Institute, at 33 Ochen was the youngest African ever nominated for the award, which is one of the five Nobel Prize categories awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee annually (with a few exceptions) since 1901.
Victor was born on 16th September 1981, a second born twin to his peasant parents of Lango ethnic tribe, from Lira district in northern Uganda. Grew up in his village of Abia, like most of the children there, Victor spent his childhood in the conflicts.
A grassroots activist, a human rights advocate, a globally recognized young man who demonstrated strength and courage and now one of the success stories of the most resilient young men who took upon his childhood challenges as an opportunity that reshaped him to bring positive change.
In northern Uganda, many horrors have been told of the actions of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda; Victor lived them, and chose to stand up for peace when it was not popular. “I have always told my fellow young people, that the war has been for too long; devastating and we have all experienced the bitter results. Even if we have pains, we don’t have to be one”.
Victor Ochen will be guest speaker at this year’s annual Ugandan diaspora gala 2017 edition – Part of his discussion will evolve around — Conflict Resolution, Youth Empowerment and how to prepare our young people for future leadership!