Enhancing Social Cohesion and Sustainable Peace in Hayin Banki Kaduna

Robin McDonough
April 9, 2024
A man wearing glasses and clerical attire gestures while speaking, advocating for Social Cohesion, with a laptop and papers in the background. Another person is partially visible in the foreground.

Rev. John Joseph Hayab speaks to community leaders in Kaduna, Nigeria.

Achieving social cohesion and sustainable peace requires a collective effort, with inclusivity and acceptance being cornerstones of a collaborative approach to peacebuilding. On April 18, 2024, around 40 participants consisting of traditional rulers, heads of religious traditions, women and youth leaders, and community members participated in the “Community Entry/Stakeholders Engagement: Enhancing Social Cohesion and Sustainable Peace in Hayin Banki Kaduna through Interfaith Dialogue and Community Mobilization” program sponsored by the Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Nigeria in partnership with the Bethel Candle of Hope for the Vulnerable (BCHV).

GPF Nigeria and BCHV held the event at the office of the District Head of Kawo to acquire the acceptance, support, and engagement of key leaders and community stakeholders before initiating a six-month peacebuilding project. The endorsement of these community gatekeepers is crucial to promoting understanding and achieving buy-in for participants to engage in community dialogue and attend multi-faceted capacity-building workshops that aim to enhance social cohesion and sustainable peace.

Dcn. Simon Usman of BCHV thanked the attendees for their warm reception and addressed the collaboration between his organization and GPF Nigeria to initiate peacebuilding activities in vulnerable communities that will generate hope for their diverse members. Providing an overview of GPF’s global activities, Sheikh Halliru Abdullahi Maraya, the northern coordinator of GPF Nigeria, emphasized the importance of our shared humanity in achieving peaceful coexistence. Rev. John Joseph Hayab, the country director of GPF Nigeria, reiterated this vision and the value of working together, regardless of religion or ethnicity, to achieve a unified goal.

HRH Jibrin Mohammed Magaji, the Dan Makwayan Zazzau III and District Head of Kawo, endorsed the peacebuilding initiative, pledging his full support while encouraging community members to participate actively in the upcoming workshops and training. He further advocated for religious leaders to create an environment of acceptance and humility.

The one-day community entry program effectively brought together key traditional, religious, and other community leaders to secure their support for the planned six-month peacebuilding project in Hayin Banki. Due to their influence, these community gatekeepers enhance the underlying collaborative efforts to achieve sustainable, peaceful coexistence and social cohesion.

A group of people holding signs that read

Group photo at a GPF forum on Enhancing Social Cohesion and Sustainable Peace in Kaduna.

Several attendees expressed their gratitude to GPF Nigeria and BCHV for their peacebuilding efforts and to the village head for his support. They also shared their willingness to foster engagement among their community members.

Mahmud S. Galadima, the village head of Kawo, said “We are happy and open to learn more to strengthen and build on the little peace we are enjoying.” Rev. Bulus D. Idowu of First ECWA

Church Hayin Banki pledged the support of both his church and all Christians in Hayin Banki to achieve a successful outcome. In addition, according to Imam Abubakar Abdulsalam of the Hayin Banki Juma’at Mosque, “This visit is a pointer to the fact that our people are doing well, and this will encourage us to do more.” He hopes that the program will be introduced in other communities within the Kaduna North Local Government Area (LGA).

Adama Ibrahim and Samaila Galadima, a Hayin Banki women and youth leader, respectively, expressed their enthusiasm for the planned peacebuilding project. They were especially encouraged by the economic literacy training that will empower women and youth in the community.

The collective effort witnessed at the “Community Entry/Stakeholders Engagement: Enhancing Social Cohesion and Sustainable Peace in Hayin Banki Kaduna through Interfaith Dialogue and Community Mobilization” gathering indicates strong support for community engagement in the upcoming six-month peacebuilding project. To facilitate project implementation, the next steps were defined, including a follow-up meeting focused on project details and collaboration strategies, as well as a baseline survey to be conducted in May.

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