From Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna
As the world anticipates International Peace Day on September 21, 2023, several non-governmental organizations in Kaduna have embarked on a week-long journey to nurture hope and enlightenment among the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). From September 16th to the 21st, the Network of Peace Journalists (NNPJ) and Eko Smile Support & Empowerment Initiative (ESSEI), in collaboration with the Interfaith Mediation Center (IMC), orchestrated a series of events that ignited the spirits of young minds.
One of the highlights of this initiative was a captivating reading and writing competition designed exclusively for IDP teenagers. This competition was crafted with the intention of sowing the seeds of literacy and fostering a culture of peace among the displaced youth.
The National President of the Nigeria Network of Peace Journalists (NNPJ), Mr, Ibrahima Yakubu explained in an impassioned statement, underscored the significance of this endeavor.
He spoke from the heart,emphasizing the importance of instilling peace education into the young souls inhabiting the IDP camp. His words resonated at the Maraban Rido Internally Displaced Persons camp,situated in the Chikum Local Government of Kaduna State, Northwestern Nigeria.
In a heartwarming gesture, the NNPJ President delivered an array of study materials and educational tools to the eager children. These resources were not merely symbols but practical instruments to strengthen and bolster their educational journey.
“The vision of peace education is to kindle the flames of forgiveness and religious tolerance among these budding minds. It goes beyond imparting knowledge about a culture of peace; it equips these children with the skills and attitudes necessary to defuse conflicts, recognize potential discord, and actively promote a culture of peace and non-violence.
“The essence of peace education lies in its mission to counter the assumption that violence is innate to human nature. It strives to arm students with the capacity to resolve conflicts through dialogue and understanding rather than resorting to violence.
A Call to Embrace Peace Week 2023
“Let Peace Week 2023 serve as a catalyst for positive change, an occasion to celebrate the accomplishments of the past four decades, and a time to renew our commitment to constructing a harmonious future.
“Through collective collaboration, open dialogue, and compassionate action, we can shape a world where peace thrives, and humanity flourishes. Together, we possess the power to rewrite history, leaving behind a legacy of enduring peace for generations to come.
Peace Week 2023 resonates with the harmonious voices of peace worldwide, uniting diverse peace events that span the month of September.This collaborative effort brings together international organizations, grassroots leaders, and global networks,magnifying the impact of their collective actions. Now is the moment for extraordinary efforts as we stand united, affirming that together, we are the architects of a lasting global culture of peace.
Within the canvas of Peace Week 2023, we find an inclusive platform where each one of us can contribute to the shared vision of a New Earth, a vision that bestows blessings upon all.
“This initiative welcomes countless opportunities to unite the inspiring endeavors that fuel the momentum of people-driven peacebuilding. It is a reminder that every individual has a vital role to play in nurturing peace, and our diverse contributions converge to create a powerful field of intention and action.
A Commitment to Education and Hope
Miss Blessing Eko Sunday, the founder of the non-governmental organization Eko Smile Support, underlined the dire need to educate abandoned children in marginalized communities,equipping them with the beacon of peace education.Her organization has taken a bold step by opening a classroom specifically for internally displaced persons,for Primary school age.