Since the rise of the Boko Haram insurgency in 2009, violent extremism in Northern Nigeria has claimed over 100,000 lives, displaced over 2,000,000 people from their homes and destroyed billions of dollars’ worth of personal and public property. These have affected mostly northeastern states in Nigeria, as well as some part of the the country. The toll endured by the communities in the area can't be overstated with girls education becoming a political front line issues and recruitment of youth for militarized activities.
The Farar Tattabara (White Dove) platform hosted 32 youth activists from across the 19 Northern Nigerian states for a 5-day rigorous training, targeting youth in both online and off-line spaces to strengthen their capacity, reach, and visibility as strategic messengers and influencers in White Dove's CVE alternative messaging ecosystem. The five day event focused on online and off-line peace building skills to enable them create transformative projects that reject violent extremist narratives, and support peace building in their communities. Participants gained practical skills in public speaking, digital storytelling, creating podcasts, building graphic design, and learning more about social media tools; all aimed at creating projects that engage their local communities, and enhance their visibility as influencers offering alternative messages to violent extremism
At the end of the 5-day event, all 32 participants were granted fellowships that would run for 6 months. They had a chance to pitch their project ideas to a group of panelists during the last session of the Tech Camp. Most of the Participants chose to work in groups in the following project ares: drug abuse, political thuggery, girl child education, use of technology, Almajiri education, and Countering Violent Extremism. They will be launching their campaigns within their immediate communities as well as on various social media platforms.
"The Tech Camp has done a lot for me but most importantly, changed my indifferent behavior towards my community to 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 anything that gives room for any form of societal harm".
- Faydah Yahaya, from Abuja.
"The Farar Tattabara Tech Camp was a top notch program that beat my expectations in terms of rich content and organization. The resource persons were generous and very eager to help us become peace promoters in our communities and beyond. Since the media has become a tool that violent extremist groups use to recruit and spread their messages, the Farar Tattabara tech camp used a holistic approach to using the media to provide alternative narratives to arguments presented by violent extremists. I really appreciate Equal Access for organizing this program, and look forward to a more peaceful Nigeria (especially the North East) with youth at the forefront of driving the wheel of change and development”.
-Jimoh Ibrahim Olalekan, from Niger State.