Nigerian youth build peace with tech
White Dove Tech Camps empower youth with critical social media and digital literacy skills to foster their leadership as emerging peace ambassadors across the region.
A Project of —
CVE Messaging Center - White Dove (Farar Tattabara), US State Department
Project Mission — To create positive social change for millions of under-served people across Northern Nigeria, by providing critically needed information and education through innovative media appropriate technology and direct community engagement.
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 anyway I can, which in the long run will bring about peaceful coexistence…”
– Hauwa Musa, Kebbi State
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 communities in the area can’t be overstated mostly importantly the critical issue of girls’ education becoming a political front line and an increase in youth recruitment by violent extremist groups (VEs).
In May 2018, EAI’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 on online and offline peacebuilding 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 transforming violent extremism.
"The Tech Camp went beyond my expectations, and it is an experience I will cherish for a lifetime. It is the best training I have ever attended in terms of learning practical skills." Muhammad Limanti
IN THE STUDIO
Arewa24, Nigeria’s largest Hausa language TV channel, featured 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 art direction to sound engineering to learning how to speak on camera, the change agents enjoyed learning in the limelight.
Digital and 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 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 regional peacebuilding Hackathon took place and inspired even more youth leaders to develop projects that apply tech skills for peace and social transformation.
It is clear that the youth of the region, who are most impacted by violent extremism (VE), are rising-up for peace. The tailored camps and follow along Hackathons, along with guidance from skilled mentors, are sure to help young influencers achieve their goal – to make peace possible.
MEET THE CHANGE AGENTS
After the five-day intensive, youth leaders headed back to their communities, equipped with skills to transform violent extremism with peaceful solutions. This post originally appeared in Exposure.
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