• Monday, March 04, 2024
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To end violent extremism ActionAid trains 24 women peer education facilitators in Kogi 

In a bid to end violent extremism that is trying to bring the nation down, ActionAid has concluded training for 24 women peer education facilitators from 12 communities as part of its System and Structure Strengthening Approach against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism (SARVE) project in Kogi State. ActionAid programmes manager, Women’s Right, Nkechi Ilochi-Omekedo, disclosed this while speaking with the BusinessDay at the end of a two-day training programme in Okene, weekend.

The programme manager also said violent crimes arising from extremism were on the increase with women and children often at the receiving end, and there was need to curb it using human development strategy through empowerment and knowledge of rights, adding that the training had been informed by the realisation that violent extremism had become rampant, assuming a dangerous dimension and affecting everyone. “The increased number of violence we see in the society is huge and if we do not curb it by using a strategy that looks at human being and at human development, we will continue to experience violence and conflict everyday.
“Part of the content of this training is looking at violence and managing conflict, it’s looking at emergencies and how we respond. “So, we are hoping to see that through this training, women are more empowered and they can go back to their communities and begin to cause those changes to happen, creating safe spaces.”

Ilochi-Omekedo also maintained that the training was a holistic package that focused on women issues , how to demand and negotiate their rights and build capabilities to positively impact their families and the wider environment.
She also noted that the essence was not to disrupt homes but build better relationships, saying it was a constructive empowerment thing rather than destructive.

Speaking also, Anicetus Atakpu, Humanitarian and Resilience Programme Coordinator for ActionAid Nigeria, said the training programme, ActionAid was currently taking a lead on the SARVE II project in Kogi and Nassarawa states.
He emphasised that the work entailed building community resilience against violent extremism and planned to provide a platform for women to discuss issues of their safety as the most vulnerable group.
“We plan to establish in the 12 project communities, safe spaces for women and young female adults where they can come together to discuss issues around their safety. Issues around reducing their vulnerability to violent extremism.
“So, we are establishing safe spaces in those communities to ensure that women are protected, provided with the needed support and are given the atmosphere to air their views and build capacity towards reducing their level of vulnerability.”

Zainab Ibrahim, Head of Department, Health, with Kogi Local Government and one of the peer education facilitators disclosed that from the training she has learnt that peace must start from family and reach the society and women must equally ensure that peace reigns at their homes.
Akowe Victoria and Maria Abuh, facilitators from Igalamela-Odolu Local Government said they learnt more about hygiene in the home, child spacing, care for the elderly and effects of climate change among others.
Dorcas Yahaya, Women Leader from Ukowa in Ihima,  also commended ActionAid for the opportunity provided her to learn, saying she has learned not to be hostile to her son and has equally learned to be friendly with him.