Martin Luther Day -sharing the vision

During this week's UK-Nigeria online meeting John Dada, CEO of Fantsuam Foundation, shared with the team his vision.
John told us: " I woke up this morning with this thought that I could get youths from opposing camps to come together to rebuild one of the homes that was destroyed in the violence...I see this as an opportunity for a landmark in some symbolic activity that can draw a line under the cycle of violence and genuine peaceful dialogue begins..an activity to mark Martin Luther Day in January.

The Background
The fragile peace that held after the April 18 sectarian crisis in Kafanchan was broken by a series of reprisal killings that started from November 09th, 2011. Fantsuam Foundation has initiated a series of dialogues in Ungwa Masara and the thrust of these discussions has been the exploration of Non-Violent Communication strategies. NVC has been proven to be effective in providing WIN-WIN situation for the peace building.

Fantsuam Foundation Proposal is to use the occasion of the celebration of Martin Luther King Day in January to draw a line under the cycles of violence through practical activities for entire communities. This is a grassroots holistic, multi-stakeholder pilot in peace building, which can be presented to the Kaduna State Government for replication and institutionalization. Government-led efforts so far, has been top-down and civil-service led.

Critical Roles for Women and The Elderly
Two critical peace-builders whose roles have gone largely unrecognized are women and the elderly. The two groups also bear the brunt of the consequences of the violence unleashed on all sections of the society.
Rather than concentrating peace–making efforts at the Local Government level, a devolving of ward-level Elders and Women’s Peace Teams will be more effective. This is a a recognition of the critical roles that these two groups have played to keep our communities together in spite of the recurring cycles of violence.

Youths
High unemployment and poverty among teeming population of youths makes them ready recruits for the sectarian violence. A pilot program that engages these youths in the reconstruction of some the destroyed markets/ shops/ public facilities will absorb some of the pent-up anger and frustration. This opportunity for employment should be done within a broad peace-building framework in which the youths are required to engage in training for Non-Violent Communication for Conflict Resolution. This direct-labour program, will provide income for the youths and will be different from the usual approach of awarding the reconstruction to contractors. Embedded within the pilot will also be skills and civic responsibility training within a framework of Peace-Building.

Quick-Win Intervention
The Martin Luther King Day can provide the visibility and enhanced profile for a grassroots initiative that is aimed at healing the wounds of the recent sectarian crisis and showing a quick result that can be the basis for future efforts. Staring with more focused multi-stakeholder community dialogues, engagement of youths from oposing sides in the reconstruction of 2 muslim homes in predominant Christian quarter, training of youths and older persons in the skills of Non-Violent Communication.

Objective
To initiate a holistic and sustainable peace building program for Kafanchan communities

Location
The choice of this event is in two of the communities where the recent crises took place. In Ungwa Rimi, many homes belonging to Hausa Muslims were destroyed. In Apsiakashi, the village head and his wife were shot dead. A focus on these two communities will build on the series of dialogues that have been facilitated by Fantsuam Foundation, and is likely to lead to significant lessening of tensions, and allow space for reconciliation and reconstruction.

Output/ Deliverables
1. Community-based Multistakeholder peace building strategy
2. Symbolic reconstruction activities initiated in 2 of the affected communities
3. Peace Treaties are signed by elders of affected communities
4. The capacity of Women, youths and Older Persons is built in Non Violent Conflict Management

Outcomes
1. Community-based peace building strategy is established
2. Flashpoints of communal disharmony are quickly identified and addressed
3. Traditional roles and respect due to Women and Older Persons is duly established
4. Kaduna State Government gives recognition to community-led peace building initiatives and
supports its replication in other affected communities
5. Peace-Building is mainstreamed in all development activities of Fantsuam Foundation

Key Activities
1. Identification of two homes in the Hausa Quarters of Ungwa Rimi for reconstruction
2. Nomination of youths across the sectarian divide to participate in the reconstruction of these
facilities
3. Establishment of Women and Elders Forum at Ward level, in Ungwa Rimi and Ungwa Masara
4. Training of 50 youths from all resident ethnic and religious groups in Ungwa Rimi and Ungwa
Masara as peer educators so that each youth trains at least 5 other youths in the Non Violent
Communication techniques of conflict resolution
5. Monitoring and evaluation of all activities and monthly activities report submitted to the Women and
Elders Forum

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