Jos, Nigeria: In direct contrast to the communal violence that has shaken Nigeria recently, NEEDCSI, a youth organization focused on promoting peace, just held the 5th annual International Conference on Youth and Interfaith Dialogue, bringing together hundreds of young Nigerians from different tribes and religions to learn peace building tactics, share their stories, and organize for grassroots efforts in their own communities.
Supported by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations as a 2013 winner of the Youth Solidarity Fund, the conference was held 25th and 26thOctober at the Emerald Conference Hall at Treasures Inn.
The theme, The Role of Free and Responsible Media toward a Peaceful Society Imbued with Dignity and Mutual Respect, focused on how youth can actively counter the narratives of otherism plaguing the media, and explored how new media creates fresh opportunities for intercultural dialogue.
The cutting edge peace building techniques and use of storytelling attracted activists and peace builders from across the world to learn from the example set in Nigeria.
As a result, NEEDSCI is creating a first of its kind partnership with the Plateau State Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Hospitality, engaging local government to build capacity, explore how tourism can guide in peace building, and expand next year’s conference, slated for October 2014.
“Too often, the story we hear about young Nigerians is one of conflict and chaos,” explained NEEDSCI executive director Emmanuel Ande Ivorgba. “The Conference on Youth and Interfaith Dialogue presents the other side, where youth are not only abstaining from violence, but leading a movement of peace building in Nigeria.”
About NEEDSCI: New Era Educational and Charitable Support Foundation is a Nigerian nonprofit of diverse youth and leaders working to usher in a new era of peace and inclusiveness in Nigeria that promotes dignity and equality for all.
About the UNAOC Youth Solidarity Fund: The Youth Solidarity Fund (YSF) provides grants to outstanding youth led initiatives that promote long term solutions for intercultural challenges.
YSF is a program of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, a political initiative of the Secretary General that works to bridge divides and promote understanding between countries or identity groups, and to prevent conflict and promote social cohesion.
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