PIND Empowers 374 Niger Delta Youth in Peace Building and Conflict Management

EMERGENCY DIGEST- The Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) a non-profit organization that promotes peace and equitable economic growth in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region through multi-stakeholder partnerships, has trained 374 Niger Delta youth in Warri and Asaba, Delta State on peacebuilding with a focus on volunteerism, conflict management and PIND’s SMS-based early warning reporting system.

The training, which took place in Warri from February 21 to 22, and in Asaba from February 24 to 25, was organized to make the youth understand the connection between peace building and economic development, recognize conflict causes, acquire basic skills on how to respond to conflicts to prevent its escalation and negative impacts of conflict on relationships and businesses.

It was also aimed at developing participants’ skills in being sensitive to issues with respect to cultures, environment and businesses.

The participants – 270 in Warri and 104 in Asaba – were also trained on how to become peace monitors by sending conflict reports to PIND’s SMS-based early warning reporting system, which is a unique and robust grassroots-based conflict prevention system.

Giving their feedback on the training, participants said the exercise was meaningful and impactful.

The youth were part of the 597 participants in PIND’s Delta Youth Employment Program (DYEP).

The program which started in September 2021 aims at fostering youth employment in the Niger Delta by enhancing their employability and boosting their capacity for entrepreneurship thereby advancing the SDG 8.

Participants were trained in 17 vocations within four sectors: information communication technology (ICT), building construction, agriculture and services.

The vocations included digital marketing, computer hardware repairs and networking, carpentry and woodwork, footwear and bag making, and solar panel installation. Also, poultry, aquaculture, and snail farming.

On the peace building training, one of the DYEP participants, Joy Oyowor, said she was grateful for the techniques on conflict management. “Already, the DYEP training which I’m receiving on the art and business of dressmaking has exposed me to more intricate aspects of tailoring that I’m certain will up my game in the fashion industry”, Oyowor said.

“I believe the added peacebuilding training especially on conflict management will be very useful in my interactions with not just customers but society at large” she added.

Another DYEP participant, Olajumoke Motunrayo, a trainee in aquaculture at Aqua Green in Warri, said the peace building training was enlightening and had increased her interest in volunteering to resolve conflicts in her community. “I have gained knowledge on PIND’s early warning reporting system and I’m excited to become a peace actor in my community”, she said.

Pre and post-training assessments showed 84 per cent of the participants now have increased interest in participating in peacebuilding activities within their communities. A total of 78 per cent also believe they now have a better attitude towards reacting to conflicts based on the peace building training, while 65 per cent are convinced they will leverage the skills gained at the training to intervene in conflict issues in their businesses and communities.

PIND Foundation is committed to changing the distorted notion that young people are a threat to peace and security in the Niger Delta by continually expanding its network of young peace actors in the region while empowering them with skills that increase their economic viability. The goal is to ensure a significant percentage of youth will not engage in violence but work to prevent conflict and sustain peace in their communities.

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