NIGERIAN YOUTH ARE BUILDING PEACE WITH TECH
White Dove Tech Camp Empowers Youth-leaders to Become Agents of Change in Northern Nigeria and the Lake Chad Region.
PEACE IS POSSIBLE
For the past nine years, violent extremism in Northern Nigeria has claimed over 30,000 lives; displaced over two million people, and destroyed billions of Dollars' worth of personal and public property. The toll endured by the communities in the area can't be overstated with girls education becoming a political front line and recruitment of youth for militarized activity.
In March 2018, Equal Access International's Farar Tattabara (White Dove) platform hosted youth-leaders from across Northern Nigeria and the Lake Chad region for a five-day rigorous Social Change and Tech Camp focused in online and off-line peace building skills. As peace ambassadors in their communities, their challenge was to create projects that will transform extremism and build peace in their home region. Participants gained practical skills, such as public speaking, digital storytelling, creating a podcast, graphic design and social media tools, to create projects that engage their local community, and enhance their visibility as influencers in transforming violent extremism.
"The Tech Camp is one of the best workshops I have ever attended. I gained a lot of experience that will help me counter violent extremism. I learned how to develop a project and ways to identify root factors that cause a problem which will really help our campaign of countering violent extremism. The Tech Camp also built my confidence in public speaking, and has improved my graphics design and social media skills".
- Hauwa Musa, Kebbi State.
"The Tech Camp went beyond my expectations and it is an experience that I will cherish for a lifetime. It is the best training I have ever attended in terms of learning practical skills. I have been equipped with the basic skills of managing various social media platforms and creating awareness on Countering Violent Extremism. I really commend the organizers of the Tech Camp, especially the Farar Tattabara team".
-Muhammad Limanti, Borno State.
IN THE STUDIO
Arewa24, Nigeria's largest Hausa language TV channel, will feature the Tech Camp and seven of the brightest participants in a new segment on the popular youth series called Matasa@360. Participants received firsthand experience of being on TV and behind the camera. From stage setting, sound engineering, and learning how to speak on camera, the change agents enjoyed learning in the limelight.
Digital grassroots efforts are essential in the effort to transform violent extremism - over 50% of the local population use the internet, with 75% of that population using social media. These platforms, as well as teaching the Tech Camp participants how to speak directly with community members, are at the core of developing the voices of these Peace Promoters.
"The Tech Camp has done a lot for me but most importantly, changed my indifferent behavior towards my community and improving other people's lives. I will be supporting them in the little way I can, which in the long run will bring about peaceful coexistence and at the same time, fight for anything that gives room for any form of societal misdoing".
-Faydah Yahaya, Abuja.
The 5-day Tech Camp was just the beginning for these 32 young leaders. All 32 participants successfully completed the training and were invited to participate in a 6-month fellowship as Peace Promoters. Their leadership will result in the implementation of a community based project that combines tech skills and local engagement to enhance peace. In may 2018, a peace-building Hackathon will take place and inspire even more youth leaders to develop project that apply tech skills for peace and social transformation. All related social media activities and massaging campaign can be tracked by the following #Peace4Arewa on twitter.
It is clear that the youth of the region, who are most impacted by violet extremism, are rising-up for peace. The tailored tech skills from the camp and the upcoming Hackathon, along with guidance from skilled mentors, are sure to help these young influencers achieve their goal- to make peace possible.
MEET THE CHANGE AGENTS
After the 5-day intensive, these youth leaders are headed back to their communities, equipped with skills to transform violent extremism through peaceful solutions.