Promoting Unity and Solidarity through Ramadan Feeding Program in Nigeria

Robin McDonough
April 14, 2024
Two elderly men in traditional Nigerian attire exchanging a gift outdoors, surrounded by a group of onlookers.

Volunteers distribute food to people during Ramadan in Nigeria.

Collaboration among members of interfaith religions is a key element of peacebuilding. The Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Nigeria, in partnership with the Church and Society Kaduna and International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) Jos, organized a multi-day Ramadan Feeding Program in FCT, Kaduna, and Plateau States. On March 27, April 2, and April 4, the program fed an estimated 2,100 Muslims at the three locations.

Promoting interfaith harmony, community service, and social cohesion, the program embodies the GPF vision of One Family Under God by reducing hunger and fostering love and unity among its volunteers and beneficiaries. In their remarks, GPF Nigeria Country Director Reverend John Joseph Hayab and Northern Coordinator Sheikh Halliru Maraya stressed the need to transcend religious differences and unite during Ramadan in the spirit of our shared humanity.

A man converses animatedly with seated men in traditional attire outside a building with a sign 'Ramadan Feeding Program'.

Rev. Hayab speaks at an interfaith gathering during Ramadan in Nigeria.

Several GPF Nigeria partners expressed their gratitude for being able to participate in the collaborative program. Representatives of Church and Society and ISKCON Jos highlighted the value of creating a culture of compassion and understanding. Their support of the Ramadan Feeding Program exemplifies the strength of diversity among community members and the need to promote unity, tolerance, and empathy to create a caring and accepting environment where everyone can thrive.

Further, Imam Fu’ad Adeyemi of Alhabibiya Mosque Abuja remarked, “I extend my gratitude to Global Peace Foundation Nigeria and partners for the Ramadan Feeding Program. This initiative reflects the essence of Islam, promoting unity and compassion. May Allah reward all involved abundantly. Let us continue fostering peace and solidarity in our communities.”

Nigerian men shaking hands.

Faith leaders greet each other at the Al-Habibiyyah Mosque in Abuja.

Program volunteers and beneficiaries shared their experiences and reiterated the importance of collaboration among interfaith community members. Plateau State Program Volunteer David Musa stated, “As a Christian, participating in this initiative allowed me to deepen my understanding of interfaith cooperation and reaffirmed my commitment to promoting peace and unity in my community. Seeing the smiles on the faces of the beneficiaries served as a powerful reminder of the transformative power of love and compassion.”

Aisha Ibrahim, a Kaduna Feeding Program participant, noted, “The act of kindness shown by Global Peace Foundation Nigeria and its partners not only provided physical nourishment but also lifted my spirits and reminded me that I am not alone in my struggles. This initiative has restored my faith in humanity and left a lasting impression on me.”

A crowded hall in Nigeria with many seated people, some wearing traditional and reflective vests, attending an event, focusing attentively forward.

A crowd gathers in Al-Habibiyyah Mosque during Ramadan in Abuja, Nigeria.

The Ramadan Feeding Program emphasizes the benefits of collaboration in peacebuilding, where both the body and soul can be nourished. The diversity of interfaith community members working together to feed Muslims during Ramadan underscores the importance of compassion, unity, and tolerance in garnering understanding and peace in an often-divided society. The foundation of our shared humanity is a powerful driver in overcoming individual differences to focus on our broader commonalities.

A Plateau State resident, John Okoro, eloquently reflects this sentiment: “Being a Christian living in Jos, I was moved by the gesture of solidarity shown by Global Peace Foundation Nigeria and its partners during Ramadan. Witnessing people of diverse faiths coming together to share meals with our Muslim brothers and sisters was truly inspiring. It exemplified the essence of brotherhood and demonstrated that regardless of our religious differences, we are all bound by our common humanity. This initiative has left a lasting impact on me, reminding me of the importance of compassion and understanding in building a harmonious society.”

The joining of Hindu, Christian, and Muslim communities in the Ramadan Feeding Program illustrates the strength of love and the importance of working in unity to achieve peaceful coexistence.

Men holding signs saying

Nigerians show support for Muslim and Christian cooperation in Nigeria.

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