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Accomplishment based on work Stakeholder Sensitization and Education

A One-Day Stakeholder Sensitization and Education was held for members of Agbowo community in Ibadan, Oyo State on the 16th July 2017. The event was attended by over 100 members of the community which included community leaders, religious leaders, youth leaders, women leaders and youth.

Mr Rafiu Adeniran Lawal, who is the Director of Building Blocks for Peace and the State Focal Person Nigeria Youth Network on CVE, Oyo State, who welcomed participants to the event pointed out that the event was put together to sensitize, educate stakeholders on their roles in the prevention of violent conflict and to facilitate the process of establishing a peace club in the community.

Mr. Amusat Kolawole, a development expert from the Polytechnic Ibadan, who also doubles as the Executive Director of the Centre for Disaster Risk and Crisis Reduction (CDRCR) led the discussions on the role of youth in preventing violence.  He posited that conflict is inevitable and that lack of basic conflict management skills is leading youth to take violent actions. He, therefore, urged the youth to learn how to manage conflict and be active in promoting peace. According to him ‘Youth should always get the real information about everything before engaging in them. They should understand issues and make sure they pass the right information to others in need of it. Peer to peer education should be taken seriously; it is the duty of every young person to educate others on the need for peace’. Lastly, he urged the youth not to wait for the government for employment opportunities again, According to him, ‘government almost has nothing to offer, youth must acquire skills, learn trades, and be productive’.

Dr Adeola Adams, National Secretary of the Society for Peace Studies and Practice (SPSP) who spoke on conflict management skills amongst youth, argued that it is not only when we go to the market and begin to price goods that we negotiate, negotiation happens in our daily communications with people around us. According to him, ‘We negotiate when we greet people; we are building peace when we maintain a healthy relationship with our fellow human being, irrespective of our differences. Good negotiation skills prevent conflict’.

A religious leader in the community, Evang. Daniel Otakoya who spoke on ‘temperament and peacebuilding’ explained temperament as an inbuilt nature that determines the behaviour of a person. How someone will react to an issue is a product of his type of temperament. According to him, ‘we may not be able to change these realities, but we can manage it to our benefit. We must find out the type of person we are and we should always know that nobody is perfect and be expecting that people will offend us and be ready to accommodate people’s differences’.

A youth leader in the community, Mr.  Samson Abayomi, appreciated the conveners of the program for chosen Agbowo community for the sensitization and education. According to him, there is no better place to hold the program than Agbowo community. He urged community members to disseminate the lessons from the program.

Challenges encountered.
It was difficult mobilizing youth to the venue of the sensitization seminar. Since there was no monetary benefit for attending the programme, there was apathy from youth for the program.

Actions were taken to overcome challenges
We sought the support of religious leaders and youth leaders in the community in raising awareness for the sensitization program in their places of worship and associations respectively. Despite commitments from the religious and youth leaders to assist in mobilizing their members for the event, we had to visit the community to mobilize and engage with community members
especially youth on the importance of the sensitization programme and why they should participate.

Lessons learnt (your surprising moments, what has worked, shifts in perceptions etc.)
A lot of youth who ab initio challenged our volunteers during community engagement and mobilisation for the sensitization on why they should be peaceful given all the socio-economic challenges and deprivations turned a new leaf. After the presentations from all our resource persons, we were able to change the perception of youth who attended the programme from the
workability of violence to constructive dialogue as the only means of achieving sociopolitical desires. Seven community members showed their interest and were enthusiastic about becoming founding members of the community peace club.

Activities for the next period
We intend to go on radio on the 1st August 2017 to raise awareness for the project and subsequent programmes and also discuss the roles of youth in peacebuilding with a larger audience. After the formal intention and commitment of members of the Agbowo community to establish peace club in the community, we intend to organize a specialized training on conflict transformation and peacebuilding for peace club members so as to effectively function as peace
ambassadors in the community. The training is scheduled to come up on the 5th August 2017

Report Written by

Rafiu Adeniran Lawal
State Focal Person

Posted in GENERAL