Youth Peace building Academy
A series of five training workshops, each with 20 young people from communities in Kaduna State, was held in Kaduna, with the aim of preparing these young people (100 in all) to carry out peace-building activities in their communities under the project ‘Kaduna State Youth Peacebuilding Academy’.
This was an initiative of Plan-International (Nigeria) and the Kukah Centre with Carefronting Nigeria as the training consultants, and part of a one-year initiative. If successful, it is to be extended to more communities and more states in Nigeria.
The training workshops were organized, designed, documented and facilitated by Carefronting with logistical support from Plan-Nigeria and the Kukah Centre.
The young people varied in age from about 18 to 35 years, as well as intellectual capacity, educational levels and interest in the project, but most seemed very interested in pursuing the goals of the project by working on peace-building in their own communities; something badly needed in this part of Nigeria.
The training covered elements of non-violent conflict resolution, mediation, restorative justice, strategic communication, extremism and radicalisation, as well as the design and development of a project plan to be implemented on their return to the community.
For various reasons the workshops were conducted in English, but as several participants were not sufficiently proficient in English to follow well, translation was necessary for three groups. This slowed progress considerably. The fact that each group contained a good mixture of young people from the various religious, ethnic, and political groups found in Kaduna State as well as equal numbers of men and women was already a very positive experience for the young people. Working and planning together had an even greater impact upon them. Friendships and working relationships were created and can form a basis of strengthening relations across the divides.