By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – In an effort to build a lasting and sustainable peace in Kaduna State, an NGO, Generationsforpeace (GFP), on Saturday embarked on a Community Initiative programme with innovative tools in Makera-Kakuri, Kaduna South Local Government Area.
GFP Secretary Board of Trustees, Kaduna Satellite Office, Mr. Babatunde Ajiga, said the Community Initiative programme with a theme: “The Importance of Education” was a step down on what Delegates and participants from Makera community in Kakuri had learnt from a youth-led Advocacy For Peace Programme, (ADPP) training organized by GFP.
According to him, the Community Initiative programme supported by Robert Bosch Stiftung, (RBS) Foundation started some months ago where Delegates in Makera purchased and distributed souvenirs like Mathematical Sets to students in the community.
Ajiga said that he was excited over the event as it is an indication that the Advocacy for Peace programme of GFP in the state is not in vain, as people have copied it and are doing very well. He commended the delegates for the excellent job.
Speaking on GFP programmes, he said there were different trainings like; Dialogue for Peace training, Advocacy for Peace training and Art for Peace training; saying the playlet displayed at the event is an example of how art could be used to promote peace in the society.
A participant, Farida Shehu, student of Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Banarwa, said the playlet opened her eyes to the importance of education. She called on her fellow youth to embrace education, and shun antisocial vices in the society.
Also, Imrana Yaqub, a student of Safeway International School, advised fellow youth to seek knowledge through education, as an idle mind is a devil’s workshop.
Highlight of the event included; playlet and presentation of souvenirs among others to all participants.
It would be recalled that from August 2017 to October 2018, GFP implemented a 15-month, youth-led Advocacy For Peace Programme, (ADPP) across ten conflict affected communities in Kaduna state supported by RBS.
The programme’s objectives were to encourage young people to play an active role in disseminating peace messaging and preventing the development of extreme movements in society.
It also aimed to support community-generated, positive, pro-social messaging on peace and tolerance, and mobilise youth for local actions to prevent the further development of extreme movements in society. It intended to contribute to the goal to secure lasting stability and peace in northern Nigeria through strengthened community resilience to extreme movements in society.
The expected outcomes on the project’s Target Group of 250 ethnically and religiously diverse youth included increased acceptance across ethnic and religious lines, and expected impacts on the broader beneficiary community were increased constructive social engagement across ethnic and religious lines.
A total of 1,780 diverse youth and stakeholders were directly and indirectly impacted by the programme. The project contributes to the RBS’s focus areas of “society” and “international relations,” and its sub-focus on “peace,” by encouraging young people to play an active role in shaping the society they live in and fostering under-standing, reconciliation, conflict transformation and the establishment of peace.
The programme’s theory of change holds that if youth leaders are trained and supported to carry out sustained Advocacy For Peace activities with ethnically and religiously diverse youth in their communities; then they will build increased acceptance across ethnic and religious lines and promote youth’s involvement in preventing the development of extreme movements in society, because young people in Kaduna will be encouraged to play an active role in disseminating peace messaging and preventing the development of extreme movements in society.
In view of above, 75 female and 175 male youth from diverse ethnic backgrounds cut across the two major religions in the country; Christianity and Islam, ages 18 – 35 years, from 10 selected communities: Kawo, Hayin Banki, Ungwani Rimi, Tudun Wada, Makera, Television, Ungwani Romi, Maraban Rido, Sabon Gari Nasarawa and Rigasa were directly engaged in programme activities.