How communities in Nigeria are building peace
This International Day of Peace, we are spotlighting community-based peacebuilding in rural Nigeria! Through the Protecting Our Communities Initiative, we see how local communities are developing creative, practical approaches to global problems that affect us all.
The communities participating in this initiative are in the middle of complex conflicts and security crises—exactly the kind of situations where externally-driven military operations fail. Addressing these conflicts requires listening to those who are most impacted, and supporting peace leadership from the ground up.
The Protecting Our Communities Initiative is led jointly by Karuna and the Nigeria-based Neem Foundation. It supports 18 communities affected by cycles of farmer-herder violence and bandit attacks. We collaborate to develop skills for preventing violence and transforming conflict, and we amplify community-based solutions.
We pulled together some examples of ways communities are building peace:
Spotlighting Ways Communities are Building Peace in Nigeria
✨ Video: Early Warning-Early Response in Sabon Tasha
In the past 6 months alone, Early Warning-Early Response Committees in 18 communities have resolved more than 50 local disputes through the Protecting Our Communities Initiative.
In this video, a local Committee member in the community of Sabon Tasha explains how they kept the peace at a local protest—and why this prevented broader conflict:
✨ Video highlight: The Impact of Dialogue in Ruwan Doruwa
The practice of dialogue, no matter the topic, improves our ability to work across differences and face new challenges together. This hopeful video is about two soccer coaches in Zamfara state who resolved their conflict through dialogue:
⇢ Through local dialogues, communities have also facilitated mutual agreements between farmers and herders this summer, to prevent conflict related to land use during the fall rainy season. These dialogues, in turn, prompted large associations of cattle herders and crop farmers to work together at the state level.
These collaborations and agreements are critical, as global climate change pushes herders to change their grazing routes. Community-based solutions reduce the risk that violent clashes will occur—and create mutual understanding, across the farmers’ and herders’ different ethnic and religious identities.
The impacts of locally-rooted peacebuilding reverberate far beyond each individual community. We hope the actions of these peace leaders bring you a sense of practical hope today on Peace Day, and every day!
You can visit the Protecting Our Communities Initiative Facebook page to learn more, engage with the project’s content, and help expand the reach of local peacebuilding in Nigeria.
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