It was an unburdening time for women leaders trained by West Africa Network for Peace Building a Regional Network in Nigeria on confidence building for Advocacy in their respective communities. West Africa Network for Peace Building is one of the coalitions we volunteer and collaborate with and yours truly is the Rivers State Coordinator. So on the 4th day of the #16DaysActivism we met to share the experiences on the stepdown and what they have been able to achieve since the training.
It was really an amazing time sitting and listening to the works women are doing in their communities. They were some incredible works. But one was so outstanding that I decided to share it here.
A community in the Niger Delta that have been having community leader tussle and cultism issues for over a decade now. One of the women trained decided to push things around her community so she invited one of women that they were trained together to assist her. They met with the elders and youths on the need to have a meeting to broker peace between the warring parties. Eventually they were able to fix a meeting after a long time of being dribbled by the elders reason being that they were women.
On the appointed day, the town hall was filled to the brim because it is actually the first time women will be initiating a meeting of the whole community. Old, young and children gathered(unfortunately there were no picture of the meeting) gathered and meeting commenced. They addressed the community members and they were more than interested in the presentation done by these 2 women on how to broker peace between the parties. As the story progressed, the youths took over and told the community how the elders have been using them to perpetrate terror in the community. At the end the warring parties decided to sheath their sword and make peace. Since that meeting the peace process that started and according to the woman, that meeting came with so much goodwill and respect. It has also brought envy and jealousy that one of the elders have warned her to desist from calling for another meeting as he does not expect her to be more popular than her. According to her it was from the least place she expected such warning to come from. Nevertheless, the process is still on and everybody is happy to drive it.
A second one came from a female youth that organised extra mural classes for one month for Junior secondary school students in collaboration with her group in the community. It paid off as so many students who participated have improved in their studies and the parents of those students have been showing their gratitude by the way they greet her whenever and everywhere they see her and her group members. It was really wonderful and impressive.
This unburdening have been fixed to hold again sometime in January 2020. They were also brought to speed on United Nations 16days Activism and the campaign against Gender Based Violence. The women leaders reiterated their commitment to continue to drive peace processes in their communities.
I took out time to talk about World Pulse by sharing my experience on World Pulse Platform. I also took them through the process of signing in and joining us to share the great work Niger Delta women are doing in their communities.
These #16daysActivism have been so exciting and engaging for me and my team.