On the 12th of June, 2019, the Building Blocks for Peace Foundation organized a one-day Capacity Building Training which focused on the Youth, Peace and Security Agenda. The training, which was anchored by Mr. Allwell Akhigbe, the Director of Research, Building Blocks for Peace Foundation, had approximately 22 youths in attendance where they were introduced to the concepts of Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding, the United Nations Security Council 2250 and Strategies for Transforming Violent Narratives.
Dr. Dayo Ogunbowale, a Media Consultant and USIP Generation Change Peace Fellow, who facilitated the first lecture of the training, titled “Transforming Violent Narratives (Media and Peacebuilding)” stated that the content of information changes as it passes through different mediums because people add or remove from the original content during the process. He further stated that narratives will always transfer because life is a perspective. He added that stories can support discrimination, violent, conflicts and injustices but the good news is that stories can also be an opportunity for positive change and transformation.
Dr. Dayo continued by saying that the moment you disagree with someone, you are in conflict with that person and this poses the need to argue with facts and that is if need be for argument. He, furthermore, stated that conflict that is not well managed transforms to violence. He stated that for one to have a good grasp of a situation, one must be an active listener, with this he went
ahead to dissect Non-Violent Communication (NVC) by Marshall B. Rosenberg, the American Psychologist. Following the first lecture, the participants were divided into three activity groups to deliberate and map out how to manage different tasks given. After the group discussion, a representative
from each group presents on how to use stories which project peace to manage hate speech, defamation of character. Rounding up his session, Dr. Dayo Ogunbowale asserted that perspective changes based on the information at hand and when challenges come, maximize them.
Mr. Rafiu Lawal, the Executive Director of Building Block for Peace Foundation, came on board to analyze how individuals or groups can work together for peace and peace,network with other peace organisations like the United Network of Young Peacebuilders (UNOY). He spoke to participants on the existing United Nations Security Resolution 2250, a policy framework which supports youth participation in peacebuilding. He stated that this working document has five main components which include:
Participation- nothing for us without us
Protection- young people must be protected during armed conflicts
Prevention- empower the young people on conflict prevention strategies
Partnership- work with young people to utilize their potentials positively
Disengagement and Reintegration- Rehabilitate those that engage in violence and those affected by the incidence to see beyond their present predicament and envision greater future.
The outcome of the training
Participants learnt to be active listeners and properly scrutinize information before dissemination.
Participants acquired new knowledge and deepened their understanding of UNSC Resolution 2250 and how well it can impact the society and make it a better place for all Participants were also encouraged to put all learnt into practice by also teaching other
youths about their role in building peace in their immediate communities and world at large.
In conclusion, the training ended with a vote of thanks from Mr. Rafiu Lawal, the Executive Director for Building Blocks for Peace Foundation. He thanked all the facilitators and participants that attended the training.
Report Written By
Timothy Morenikeji and Oluwaseun Kolawole