By Abdulkareem Haruna
Zenith of the Girl Child and Women Empowerment Initiative (ZEGCAWIS) a budding nongovernmental organization in Borno state, on Wednesday, Aug. 24 marked the 2022 edition of international youth day by deploying a drama strategy to highlight how society can overcome its challenges and build resilience against violence and extremism.
Gathered at the prestigious Elkanemi Hall of the University of Maiduguri, invited participants brainstormed over speeches, solidarity messages, stage drama, and panel group discussions on how intergenerational synergy can be deployed to tackle societal challenges and prime the youths as part of effective leaders for the future.
Working alongside the universal theme ‘International Solidarity, Creating A World For All Ages’; with a sub-topic as “enhancing the role of youth and women in community participation and countering violent extremism”, the event featured a drama presentation by the Borno state council for arts and culture where artists rendered how the Boko Haram started, its threat climax and how the society’s stakeholders, led by the women folk were able to use dialogue and non-combative approach to diffuse the budding extremism.
The about-30-minutes-long stage play was followed by a reaction from a cross-section of young people who shared their views on the key messages of the drama and the lesson learnt there.
The Executive Director of ZEGCAWIS, Aisha Kabu, in an opening speech informed that the event was in line with the theme for this year’s which stressed a need for intergenerational dialogue between the young people and the older generation.
“This is a unique opportunity brought to us by the commemoration of the #IYD where all stakeholders are meeting to discuss and fashion out strategies on how to overcome challenges tapping on the experiences of the older ones in times of conflict and sharing the knowledge of the younger ones on issues that confront their lives at the moment, and complimenting each other’s role as stakeholders in the society.
“That was why we invited participants from different segments of the society like the representatives of the ministry of youth and sports, women affairs, legislative chairmen on the committees on youths and sports and that of women at the Borno state house of assembly, the national youth council of Nigeria, the young people drawn from the 27 local government of Borno state, a large representation of the civil society organisations, people living with disability and the media who have all shared their thoughts and experiences on the topic.
“Across-section of people brought together for the event enables one to understand how important it is for us to echo the important role the women and girls can play in mitigating violent extremism and community participation ie society.
She said ZEGCAWIS has a task of not only organising an event for the youth and women but also of getting out the key messaging in advocacy on the crucial roles women can play in fostering peace ie society.
“That was why we deliberately seek partnership with media organisations like The Humanitarian Times, Yerwa Express, Al-Ansar Radio and NTA to support us in sharing the message on the role women and youth can play in countering violence and community participation, to the general public.
A panel discussion anchored by Abduhameed Algazali, the Editor in Chief of Yerwa Express had panellists talk about the societal problems faced by the youth during conflict and what the civil society and the NGOs are doing to tackle them and the challenges they also face.
Solidarity messages were variously delivered by representatives of partners NGOs, CSOs, and the Youth Council – all echoing the invaluable roles young people and women can play in fostering peace and development in society.
Ms Kabu-Damboa said her organisation organised the event with support from Islamic Cultural Education and Scientific organisation (ICESCO).
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