New Telegraph

Plateau Crisis: Foundation Gives Grant To Muslim, Christian Women

A Non-Governmental Organization known as Global Peace Foundation Nigeria has trained 100 women both Christian and Muslim in Plateau State on financial literacy, and presented them with a take-off grant of N500,000 to start cooperative societies and establish businesses.

Country Director of Global Peace Foundation Nigeria, Rev. John Joseph Hayab, said in Jos, that the initiative was part of the foundation’s peace-building process, to unite people across divides.

Rev. Hayab while Speaking during the presentation of the grant held at Yelwa Club Bukuru Jos said the training and empowerment programme was in collaboration with the Christian, Rural and Urban Development Association of Nigeria (CRUDAN), and also aimed to promote social cohesion and religious tolerance.

The country director further said that the essence was to build people’s capacity to manage and handle all types of conflict.

“Our mission at GPFN has always been centred around the noble goal of fostering unity, understanding, and ultimately, peace within communities. Today, I am delighted to witness the fruits of our collective efforts as we come together to execute a community service project that signifies not only progress but a profound commitment to building lasting bonds among us.

“Suffice to mention that for us at the Global Peace Foundation, building these bonds hinges on our collective understanding that as human beings, we are members of One Family under God. Therefore, seeing each other from the lenses of our shared ancestral roots would no doubt influence our actions and inactions toward one another, irrespective of tribe, creed, or religion.

“The introduction of this service project is not merely an act of charity, but a strategic initiative aimed at further uniting this community, enhancing working relationships, and fortifying the very fabric of social cohesion that binds us together.

He added that peace is not just the absence of conflict but an active, thriving force that emanates from shared understanding, respect, and collaboration.

He said that the benefiting communities of Rahwol Kanan and Angwan Doki, both of Jos South Local Government Area (LGA), were deliberately chosen because of their religious beliefs and what they went through in terms of crises.

“When we came and started a conversation with the communities, we discovered that one of the causes of conflict was the poverty line. So we introduced economic empowerment. We have done a programme that we call financial literacy for women’s skill acquisition and building their capacities on how to manage businesses.

“And then we formed them into five cooperative societies, and each of the cooperative societies was made up of 20 women from different religious backgrounds.

“The essence is to help them unite and meet regularly to discuss their businesses or trade, and also add their voice to finding solutions to conflicts around them.

“The unfortunate incident on Christmas Eve wakes us up to the need to continue to increase the voice of women and peacebuilding.

Rev. Hayab who is also the CAN Chairman in Kaduna state added that through the cooperative societies, the women would continue to engage one another in businesses and also promote peaceful coexistence to protect their investments.

He pointed out that the choice of women was deliberate, as women often played vital roles in helping society move forward.

According to him, the voice of women at the table of dialogue is the best voice that can bring positive results to the dialogue.

He said the woman was the one person that could speak to everyone such as the children, their husbands, siblings, and even their parents, and they were bound to listen.

The Northern Coordinator of the Foundation
Alhaji Halilu Maraya said that the country had recorded more than 30 sectarian crises, and consequently, Nigeria had also lost too many lives and properties worth billions of Naira.

According to Maraya, if adherents of the two major religions abide by the teachings of their faiths, there will not be any crisis because both religions teach respect for humanity.

The northern coordinator said that the Global Peace Foundation always emphasized the importance of human unity.

“If we realize that we are all members of one human family, regardless of any social difference, there wouldn’t be any sectarian crisis, We were all created by the Almighty God. If the Almighty God had wanted all of us to be one religion, all of us could have been. Therefore, we must love one another regardless of religion,’’ he advised.

Executive Director of CRUDAN, Mr Joseph Gyandi said that they partnered with the Global Peace Foundation because they shared the same vision in terms of peaceful coexistence and sustainability.

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Nanbam Wudet commended the Global Peace Foundation and CRUDAN for the opportunity, saying that it would enhance interaction among the women in their communities.

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