When we arrive Azare, after a journey of two and half hours by road, the burnt house stared us in the face. It was an eye soar. Everything was totally burnt down. What a pity! We wish them well as they continue the process for insurance.
Away from the house, we went to the workshop venue and behold these well prepared youth were there to engage the team for the weekend. It was truly great! The turn out was 40 on register but 38 on the average. The youths were not just there in number but actively participated in the Community Building unit of the SELL programme. Initially, they struggled with the statement that the programme was open to other spiritual sources of inspiration like the Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and the African Traditional religion and how to build a true community in a highly tribal and fragmented society like Nigeria. But as the unit unfolded, the team was able to challenge their thinking on concepts like Identity, Attitudes, fixed perspectives, Values and beliefs, perceptions and misperception, and Gender. At the end of the workshop, many participants truly confessed that hitherto, Gender to them simply means issues around women. But with this workshop, many were able to distinguish between Sex and Gender. The male folk were seriously challenged to think differently especially as the Web of women’s oppression and the triple burden of work for women in our society were presented to them. Participants collectively reasoned that both Men and Women are equally important and could only function well to bring about the needed change in society when they work interdependently. Lastly, they joined with Confucius and were able to say:
I ‘promise to oppose bravely all that is stupid and bigoted and cruel’ and that ‘Tolerance is the highest virtue, while humility comes next. Even though our bones molder and become the earth of the fields, the spirit issues forth and lives on high in brightness, mystery and delight. God is the common father of all human kind’.
Bauchi Diocesan Youth Rally started yesterday, 18th August 2010 at Gombe, Gombe State. Noel and Moses will be there on Friday to cheer the youths up and support the Youth chaplain, Fr. Cletus Ikpa who had to cut short his annual leave to come for the rally. High point of the occasion will be the election of new Diocesan Leaders. We hope that the lessons learnt in the Leadership unit of the SELL programme will help the youth in deciding who directs their affairs in the next two years.
Still this weekend, James Olorunmolu and Taiye Mofolorunsho, both facilitators in training, kick off a workshop on Social Justice with the students of Polytechnic, Lokoja Kogi State. James will give us the update when he comes. From all of us, we wish you success. Before I forget, Leo, Maria and Jonathan are still carrying out the training of facilitators in the Ashanti region, Kumasi in Ghana. The training which started last week will end on Sunday, 22nd August 2010. To the team at Ghana, we say ‘akigba’ ! Well Done!!
Moses: For the SELL Team