Last week I informed you that a member of the Sharing Education and Learning for Life (SELL) Resource Team Jonathan and one of the SELL trainees Shuaibu travelled to Kaduna state, Nigeria to facilitate a consultative seminar and Jonathan has this to say;
“Against the rumours that were making the rounds that Kaduna was not safe, on Friday 11th of November, Shuaibu and I travelled to Kaduna to facilitate a consultative forum of the young adults in the city of Kaduna. Shuaibu is a Muslim associate of the SELL Programme who lives in Jos.
This was under the auspices of the Interfaith Council of Muslim and Christian Women Associations in Kaduna State. They had put together the consultative forum to help the young people of both the Islamic and Christian Faith Traditions to dialogue on the problems they face and the need for a common ground for working towards Peaceful Coexistence.
When we arrived Kaduna, we were delighted to find that the city was very peaceful and welcoming. The consultative forum started at 9am on Saturday 12th of November. It was divided into two parts. The first part consisted of talks and words of wisdom on Peaceful coexistence from both the Islamic and Christian faith traditions. This was followed by a question and answer session.
Then the second part of the programme which was the afternoon session was the dialogue that was facilitated by us. Here we tried as to listen to the issues that the young people face. From the dialogue, they discovered that whether Christians or Muslims, we all desire Peace in our communities. This expression of desire lead to our exploring with them some practical suggestions on things that they could do to support peaceful coexistence in their communities.
Many suggestions came up and in the end; they all agreed to form what they called “The Interfaith Youth Forum”. All the Muslim and Christian youth groups present sent a representative to serve as the initial committee of the Forum and they will meet again in Kaduna on the 26th of November, 2011. We wish them well in this their noble effort towards Peaceful Coexistence.
For us, this is a huge success as it strengthens our work with interfaith groups. We look forward to more opportunities in the future”.
Secondly, Moses and James of the SELL Resource Team travelled last weekend to Kwande town of Qua’an Pan Local Government Area, Plateau State Nigeria. The duo went to mentor a workshop that was delivered by the SELL Team from Shendam a Local Government which is close to Qua’an Pan. At first the workshop appeared like it was not going to hold because the facilitators were not practically present at the venue by the time it was scheduled to start, even though not the required number of participants were present. The few participants that came were welcomed and briefly introduced to the programme. The following day which was Saturday, the workshop kicked off properly. The opening prayer was started around 8.30am with about 8 participant and before the prayer concluded, the number rose up to 14 and that was the number that was worked with throughout the workshop. The unit that was delivered was the Community Building unit of the SELL Programme. The greatest challenge in that workshop was on the issues around Gender. At the end of the workshop, a participant Cletus said he has learned to appreciate the difference in other people, especially women. The person who gave the venue for the workshop Rev. Fr. Hilary Na’anman said that the SELL workshop has brought a message of ‘Liberation, Salvation, Freedom and empowerment, to his people because they have all this while lived in the bondage of the man’s world’. On the whole, the group was an interesting group to work with. We look forward to meet them again in the near future as Fr. Hilary said he will invite the Team soon for another SELL workshop.
At the Youth Formation Centre (YFC) where the SELL Programme work from, the Catholic Youth Organisation CYON leaders of the Catholic Diocese of Bauchi gathered on Friday 11th November 2011 and had a diocesan meeting which extended to Saturday the 12th. Mary James of the SELL Resource Team was there at the meeting where she talked about the SELL programme to the Youth Leaders. She said the SELL programme is always available to the youths and that we will run workshops for them whenever we are called upon. 38 youths attended the meeting at the YFC, Bauchi.
Jonathan and James are going to Sabon Gida town In Taraba State, Nigeria to mentor the SELL trainees from Jalingo Area Team. And Leo has travelled to Minna, the capital of Niger State to mentor Francis and Friday in the personal growth workshop the will deliver this weekend.
On Tuesday 22nd November two things are going to happen at the YFC. A resource team from the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Catholic Agency for Oversee Development (CAFOD), both from Abuja, Nigeria are coming to help the SELL team with some strategic planning, with a view to repositioning for a better future. We wish them safe journey to and from Bauchi. Still on the same day, as from 16:00 GMT, the end of year evaluation and planning for 2012, shall take place with the chaplains of the province of Jos, covering four states in the North east, Nigeria. Did I hear you say a beehive of activities? Surely, it is. I hope to come with the update next week. Thanks,