Dear Friends and Supporters,
Greetings, Peace and blessings to you. We are very pleased to send you report of our Ongoing Youth Solidarity Fund Project, supported by the UNAOC. The Project, “Building Youth Capacity for Peace and Good Governance in Nigeria” is a 6-month project implemented by New Era Educational and Charitable Support Foundation and supported by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Initiative through its Youth Solidarity Fund, 2013 Edition. The project aims at diminishing gaps, healing wounds, and leading participants to experience face-to-face forgiveness, and thereby changing the fabric of Nigeria person-to-person, as familiarity and trust increases. The project will support young Nigerians in their healing process with three components:
(1) moving toward forgiveness by giving voice to carefully-listened-to personal life narratives, with the experience that "an enemy is one whose story we have not heard," (2) an educational, intellectual framework of sound psychological, biological and spiritual principles of a life-lived that leads toward healing, and reconciliation, and (3) Responsible outreach with grass-roots initiatives that includes vastly more citizens awakening to build authentic Nigerian community, beyond war, living united as one. The project will help Nigerian youth to build strong cross-cultural relationships. It will provide youth meaningful purpose and active roles in their communities. The training will provide life skills of dignifying one another through communication excellence in peacebuilding.
The project will help the participants to socialize across boundaries of culture and faith and experience volunteerism from a faith-based community of youth and educators. Participants will visit religious sites to draw from the rich spiritual and cultural heritage of humanity to become Young Peace Ambassadors. Target groups for the project include 150 male and female representatives of youth groups and associations, community leaders including religious leaders and teachers in Jos North and South. The participants will learn about each other face-to-face, in a culturally neutral environment of fun and cooperative creativity. They will learn to deconstruct stereotypes that fuel fear and ignorance of the “other” in order to build respect and trust.
From 8th – 9th August, 2013, the project hosted 20 teachers drawn from Nine secondary schools in Jos North and Jos South Local Government Areas of Plateau State, for a 2-Day Teacher Training on Peace Education, Negotiation Skills, Advocacy and Conflict Transformation utilizing Non-Violence Approaches. The 2-Day Training was conducted at the Assembly Hall of Creative Minds International Academy, Jos, Nigeria. The Participants were drawn from Creative Minds International Academy, Jos, Ziebok Private School, Jos, United Baptist Model School, Jos, Yedi Private School, Jos, Liberty Comprehensive College, Jos, Remus Private School, Fed Lowcost, Jos, St. Bucknor Peculiar Academy, Kufang, Jos, Christ Arrival College and Zang Commercial, Bukuru, Jos.
The Facilitators were experienced trainers from the USA, Japan and Nigeria. Ema Miroslava Billings hold a Masters Degree in Conflict Transformation with a focus on Psychosocial Trauma Healing at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) at the Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), Harrisonburg, VA USA, and is very passionately dedicated to peace and psychosocial trauma and well being theory and practice, has great analytical and strategic thinking skills. Ema demonstrates even greater awareness and deep care for people in conflict situations. Akiko Ishihara, MA MPH from Tokyo, Japan is an associate professor of conflict transformation and peacebuilding at Kumamoto University, Japan. She is passionate about sharing conflict transformation and peacebuilding ideas with youth and adults, and working in the affected areas by the nuclear disaster in Japan. Dr. Emmanuel Ande Ivorgba is an Educator, a success-driven visionary, Community Builder, Peace activist and Conflict Resolution Practitioner with several years experience conducting mediation, training and facilitation, especially in West Africa. He is the Executive Director of New Era Educational and Charitable Support Foundation. Peter Ijigue Monkom is the Project Coordinator for the “Building Youth Capacity for Peace and Good Governance in Nigeria”.
Training modules included: Advocacy, Understanding Conflict, Introduction to Communication, Communication Techniques, Creating a Culture of Peace, Peace Education & Negotiation. The Participants were 20 Secondary School teachers, both male and female in gender along with representing both the Muslim and Christian faiths. The participants’ knowledge base of conflict and building a culture of peace ranged from little awareness to well informed. Many viewed conflict as an unnecessary evil when asked to share their views of conflict though later learned that conflict is a natural aspect of life.
Friday, 16th August 2013, Four (4) members of the Project Advocacy and Community Mobilization Team, led by NEEDCSI Executive Director and the Project Coordinator, conducted a Project Advocacy Meeting with the Special Adviser on Peacebuilding to the Plateau State Governor, Hon. Barrister Timothy Baba Parlong, at his office in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria. During the Advocacy Meeting, the Project Team said they were at the office of the Special Adviser on Peacebuilding to the State Governor to formally inform the Government about the project and to seek official support and collaboration towards the overall success of the project. The Project Team also presented copies of Advocacy and IEC including Car Stickers and T-Shirts developed and produced by the project to the Special Adviser on Peacebuilding. The Special Adviser expressed delight and congratulated the Project Team for being selected as finalists and eventual Winners of the UNOAC Youth Solidarity Fund, 2013 Edition, as pledged the support and collaboration of the State Governance, through his office, towards ensuring that the projects succeeds. Seven (7) were present and actively participated in the meeting.
Further details of project implementation are also available at our project website: http://needcsi-unoacysf2013edition.webs.com/