Africa though abundantly blessed with natural mineral resources and human resources, have become a burden to peace with so many parts at war.
Nigeria alone, is facing serious insurgency from varied quarters with little success by government in tackling them while citizens face daily danger through outright attacks resulting in deaths, abductions or destruction of both community structures and government facilities. According to The Nigeria Security Tracker (NST), a project of the Council on Foreign Relations’ Africa program, documents and maps, violence in Nigeria is motivated by political, economic, or social grievances. Different groups in Nigeria resort to violence. “The militant Islamist movement Boko Haram is active in northern Nigeria. Violence among ethnic groups, farmers, and herdsmen sometimes acquires religious overtones. A new generation of Niger Delta militants threatens war against the state. Government soldiers kill civilians indiscriminately. Police are notorious for extrajudicial murder”.
Thousands are dying as a result of these conflicts and many are living in fear, while development is stalled.
‘No fewer than 3,868 persons were killed in different states of Nigeria between January and June 2021, a mid-year report by an international human rights organization based in Washington DC, Global Rights, has revealed.
“The group, which tracks daily incidents of mass atrocities across the country, also put the number of persons who were abducted within the timeframe at 3,016, a 79.6 per cent increase compared to 615 incidents recorded within the same period in 2020,” a national daily, This Day reported.
This unwholesome development has become a global concern with the international community including Britain and the US raising concerns. Thinking in the same direction, a global peace campaign body, Heavenly Culture World Peace Restoration of Light, HWPL, founded by Chairman Man-Hee Lee, equally worried about the conflict situation i8n West Africa, decided to beam its light on the region bringing along a Peace Education Initiative to train peace educators who will be instrumental in creating a positive mindset that will instil a more tolerant spirit among citizens to begin to lay foundation for a harmonious living which can turn the rich diversity in the region into opportunity for peace and greatness.
“In June, the online “Peace Educator Empowerment Training” program was hosted in West Africa. The program began at the request of African educators and it has been conducted a total of eight times so far for educators and education officials in Nigeria and Ghana.
“Africa’s population accounts for one-seventh of the world’s population, which is more than three times larger than the United States, with more than 2,000 diverse ethnicities and languages. It is called the continent of hope due to its abundant underground resources and endless potential for development. However, disputes and conflicts have arisen among various tribes as well as issues such as poverty, discrimination, and marginalization’, the HWPL West Africa in a statement to the newly trained peace educators. In June, the online “Peace Educator Empowerment Training” program was hosted in West Africa. The program began at the request of African educators and it has been conducted a total of eight times so far for educators and education officials in Nigeria and Ghana.
Africa’s population accounts for one-seventh of the world’s population, which is more than three times larger than the United States, with more than 2,000 diverse ethnicities and languages. It is called the continent of hope due to its abundant underground resources and endless potential for development. However, disputes and conflicts have arisen among various tribes as well as issues such as poverty, discrimination, and marginalization.
“Africa is still living in fear and anxiety of conflicts that can arise again among tribes. For this reason, educators in Africa are voicing the need for peace education and equipping themselves with the qualifications and the skills to become peace educators who can personally educate people on peace.
Through a series of online training spanning eight weeks of careful training and some practical demonstration a total of 350 educators across Africa were successfully trained by HWPL and now ready to spread the peace message which says “We Are One”.
The Center for Environment Human Rights and Development, CEHRD, in collaboration with a sister organization, Center for Media Environment and Development Communications nominated an initial 12 candidates across Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Edo states and participants later increased to 15.
The major goal was to create a world where citizens feel the importance of peace and harmonious co-existence,
And to create such a world, HWPL is using the Peace Education Project to get students to learn the way to communicate correctly, understand that as people are different so are opinions/views different; learn to cooperate and promote social responsibility.
HWPL belief is that students who learn these habits can identify negative acts such as bullying, verbal abuse and selfishness in school life, as wrong behavior. And the goal is that if they grow into adults with positive mindsets, they will become better neighbours, better leaders and citizens and help promote peace and progress and a better society.
This recognizes that we are all one-all human beings created by one God and togetherness means understanding the ways of others for harmony.
The core value of HWPL Peace Education is that peace is achievable but a collective responsibility starting from ME and to cultivate one’s mind and behavior by fighting off evil and raising the good in the individual.
Each student is to be correctly taught about the meaning of peace and discover the value of peace to become a citizen embedded with the value of peace, ways to practice the value of peace in one’s home and school, community.
The target is to groom young minds to mature into leading the community well and bring the whole world to peace.
HWPL says, “By practicing peace in a wider range of communities and countries, we will promote a peace culture to maintain world peace”.
From the peace educators teaching experience, the message of peace has already been planted in the minds of hundreds of school children and community groups and the response from educationists and community and church members who participated, is that peace education is a must if Nigeria is to grow out of her present conflict situation.
“Educators in Africa hope all students will love and practice peace by realizing the importance and value of peace through HWPL’s peace education. This can happen because they believe if everyone practices the value of peace, the seed of conflict and disputes will surely transform into a seed of peace. Through this program, the 375 educators and education officials will become leaders who will lead youths who are exposed to conflicts, discrimination, poverty, and violence to become seeds of peace,” .