SYNEGIZING NIGERIA WOMEN FOR PEACE
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Overview

The main purpose of starting Women of Faith Peacebuilding Network in Nigeria is to empower women to foster peace in their families and communities through our diverse religious organisations, to end violence and intolerance in their communities, address HIV/AIDS, fight poverty, defend human/gender rights, and save our environment from the devastating effect of climate change.

We strongly believe that working together as sisters in faith, we would accomplish all the above and even beyond with the grace of our Creator more than we would achieve alone. This is why the key objectives of WOFPN include:

  • Strengthening the capacities of faith based women and youth to build peace, promote just and harmonious society, and transform conflict in their communities
  • Striving for community cohesion by engaging women and youth in dialogue for peaceful coexistence
  • Working to advance sustainable human development and work for the protection of earth
  • Promoting youth and women’s empowerment in multi religious collaboration for peace
  • Enhancing multi religious networking among the interfaith women and youth
  • Developing relevant multi-stakeholder partnership and alliances
 

Our Various Initiatives

                                             Women of Faith Building Peace among Interfaith Women at the Grassroots Level
 

From experience we can truly testify that working together as sisters in faith, we have been able to achieve so much with the help of God more than we could have achieved alone. This can be seen through the creation of WOFPN at the States level in Nigeria. The latest among them was the official inauguration of Abuja WOFPN in Nigeria on 23rd of February 2012. The theme of that event was “The Role of Christian and Muslim Women in Peacebuilding in Our Community”. This inauguration drew together over 700 participants from Christian and Muslim organisations in Nigeria as it aims at strengthening the capacities of women both from Christian and Muslim groups to become agents of peace in their localities. Today the Women of Faith Peacebuilding Network is alive in 7 States of Nigeria namely: Edo, Enugu, Kwara, Ebony, Kogi, Lagos and FCT Abuja.

 

  Women of Faith Embarks on Climate Change Programme

 

Conscious of our collective responsibility towards building a safer world for everybody and as part of our contribution towards the protection of our environment, the Nigerian Women of Faith Network jointly organized a tree planting campaign Titled “planting for Peace and development in Nigeria”. This program was carried out in collaboration with the Interfaith Youth Forum Abuja Nigeria. About 250 Christian and Muslim youths took part in this programme. The aim of all our climate change programmes is to make our young men and women conscious of the negative effects of climate change in order to become part of its solution. We also use this medium to encourage both women and youth to work together for peace in Nigeria regardless of faith, sex or tribe.

 

        Women of Faith Celebrating Annual Universal Children’s Day

 

In commemoration of the Anniversary on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Women of Faith Peacebuilding Network WOFPN in collaboration with our partners Global Network of Religions for Children and World Day of Prayer and Action for Children annually celebrates the World Day of Prayer and Action for Children on every November 20 of each year on the theme “Ending Violence Against Children”. The protection of children from all forms of violence is a fundamental right, which the international community has pledged to safeguard all children, everywhere and at all times. Unfortunately, violence remains a harsh reality for millions of children around the world including Nigeria. So, we and our partners often use every November 20 to urge and task parents, guardians, teachers, religious leaders, government and all those taking care of children in one way of the other to ensure that children under their care are not abused either physically, sexually, mentally or emotionally. We also do use this opportunity to call on them to embark on more concrete actions that would improve, promote, and protect the lives of every Nigerian child. In this year’s DPAC, we called and appealed on our government and the insurgence for the safe return of our kidnapped girls.

 

                                                      Women of Faith Community Peacebuilding

 

In order to promote community peacebuilding and relations more practically at the local level in Nigeria, we participated actively in some annual religious festivities like the breaking of Ramadan fast (Iftr) and Christmas parties with other faith based communities in Nigeria. This love-filled activity is often led by our patron- His Eminence, John Cardinal Onaiyekan and some members of WOFPN as well as the Abuja Interfaith Youth Forum. Our approach here is that of building bonds of friendship and solidarity among leaders and members of different faiths encouraging shared and responsible citizenship. The essence of our community peacebuilding is to practice the good relationship that we preach. Experience has shown us that this singular act can motivate dialogue and practical cooperation among religious communities in Nigeria. Another form of community peacebuilding which we take seriously is visit to the less privileged and destitute children and women. This is also a very important way of promoting peace at the grassroots areas. To this effect, we have on several occasions visited various Motherless and destitute homes in Nigeria to show our moral, material and motherly support for the welfare and wellbeing of the under-privileged children in our society. We do use this opportunity to call on the Nigeria government to see to the well being of the disadvantaged women and children in our society because, that indeed should be one of their key responsibilities.

 

                   Women of Faith Empowering Grassroots Women to be Self Reliance

 

We engage in empowerment program in order to teach women skills that would make them become self reliant so that when empowered, they would be able to create job and income for themselves and their families and at the same time become less dependent on their husbands and those around them. Below are the pictures of the most recent vocational skills acquisition trainings which were organized for the less privileged women in Nyanya and Kuje areas of Abuja Nigeria. This project was funded by the Switzerland Government in Nigeria.

 

              Women of Faith Building Capacities of Women through Dialogue

 

One of the major strategies of our work in WOFPN is dialogue. As women, we believe in the power of dialogue because dialogue enables us to build awareness on the importance of mutual respect, understanding, and acceptance. We also focus on peace education in order to foster social cohesion and peaceful coexistence. We have had series of meetings and workshops in this regard. Another aspect of our capacity building is participating in national and international foras like seminars, workshops, conferences, trainings, etc so that we would be expose to the realities on ground and at the same time experience cross boarder learning.

 

                                                      Voices of Women of Faith in Advocacy

 

This initiative gives us the opportunity of engaging in discussions with our religious leaders, government and other agencies/organisations on issues concerning women and indeed everybody for the sake of achieving sustainable peace and development. This is why advocacy has become the bedrock on which all our initiatives are built upon.

 
     
   
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