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Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation engages young Christian, Muslim women for sustainable peace in Plateau State

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From Daniel Dauda, Jos


The Fellow of Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace (COFP) Fellowship Programme in Nigeria, Barr. Yitkyim Leah Datong has engaged young Christian and Muslim women across communities of Plateau State towards contributing to sustainable peace in the state.


The two days engagement with the theme “Mobilizing Young Women to Contributes their Brightness to Peace Building Efforts: The Firefly Effect” is aimed at harnessing the various gifts and potentials of young women towards applying them in their respective homes, neighborhood and the larger society.


Datong a 2023/2024 Fellow while declaring the two days workshop open at Crispan Hotel and Suites in Jos the Plateau State capital said participants were drawn across communities of Bukuru in Jos South, Bassa, Barkin-Ladi, Jos North LGAs respectively.


According to her, “The Firefly Effect 2-day workshop aims to mobilize young women to contribute their brightness to peacebuilding efforts especially in Nigeria.”


She said the project powered by the Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace (COFP) and the International Organisation for Peacebuilding and Social Justice (PSJ) has received over 500 applications while about a hundred people were considered in the first phase of the two days engagement.


Datong noted that the rational behind the The Firefly Effect’,  project which symbolizes illumination (light), seek to mobilize each tiny light to contribute to a greater brightness of the society and the nation in general.


“It is our sincere desire to empower the unique young women in this room by highlighting their strengths and abilities which will collectively create a brighter, more peaceful, community. We will together illuminate the path towards positive change.” She stated


The project marks the commencement of a series geared towards harnessing the powerful potential and productivity of young women in Plateau State through mentorship for peacebuilding.


“We gather with purpose and passion, fueled by the belief that each woman possesses a unique light that, when combined, creates a radiant glow capable of dispelling darkness and fostering empowerment.


“In the realm of ‘The Firefly Effect,’ we embrace the dual mission of gender-based empowerment and peace-building. We recognize the transformative power of empowering women, especially focusing on financial literacy as a step toward financial independence and a tool for gender inclusivity, as a catalyst for sustainable peace.” Says Datong


The Fellow maintained that the Firefly Effect’ is not just a project; but a drive committed to championing financial literacy, empowerment, equality, and peace in the country.


“Our conviction is that every small action and every flicker of light contributes to a collective brilliance that transcends boundaries and brings forth positive change.


“So as we embark on this journey, let us celebrate the strength within diversity and the resilience that defines our shared humanity.” She charged them


The Executive Director of the International Organisation for Peacebuilding and Social Justice (PSJ) Ishaya Inuwa represented by Mr. Sam Oddey noted that women are victims of most of the societal misunderstanding as women and children are the categories of persons often seen in IDPs camp.


He maintained that equipping the participants with the right knowledge and tools will help immensely in addressing both economic challenges, social plight and peaceful environment for the collective progress of the state, the region and the country at large.


Some of the participants, Mariyam Ibrahim and Mrs. Blessing Chidimma Owonduwe both expressed gratitude for the opportunity and promised to make good used of the knowledge gathered at the workshop for the sustainability of peace in their respective homes and communities.

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