. TOLERANCE & SOLIDARITY
An article by Jerry Bibang (translation by CPNN)
As part of the project “Youth, Weavers of Peace in the cross-border regions of Gabon, Cameroon and Chad”, financed by the United Nations Secretary General’s Fund for the Consolidation of Peace, 86 young men and women from associations , cooperatives and youth movements in the Department of Woleu benefited from capacity building during training workshops organized by UNESCO and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), from 14 to 19 February 2023 in Oyem.
The Pan-African Youth Network for the Culture of Peace, Gabon section (PAYNCoP Gabon) is a partner of the project, participating as trainers in this important activity. These training sessions follow those already conducted in Minvoul (Haut-Ntem) and Bitam-Meyo-Kyé (Ntem).
The objective of the training was to strengthen the knowledge and skills of the participants to enable them to carry out their mission effectively as weavers of peace. The young men and women aged between 18 and 40, of various statuses, were trained in the concepts of peace, conflict, human rights, social inclusion, violence based on (GBV), the fight against radicalization and violent extremism among young people, etc., as well as on communication techniques for behavioral and social change.
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(Click here for the original French version of this article)
Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?
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After the training, these weavers of peace will be deployed in their respective communities in order to sensitize individuals and groups, to build peace in hearts and minds, for better social cohesion and living together. For the preservation of peace in Gabon, peaceful coexistence constitute an individual and collective imperative, to which everyone is called upon to contribute, with a view to the sustainable development of the country.
“Given the national context, notably the organization of the upcoming elections, although not being trained specifically for this purpose, the weavers of peace, in their deployment, will certainly make their contribution to the promotion of the culture of peace during the election period, tolerance, the fight against hate speech and fake news, among others,” explained Jerry Bibang, the Permanent Secretary of PAYNCOP.
The session received the surprise visit of the Minister of Health on Friday, February 17, on mission in the Province, who provided valuable advice to young people in formation, but also through them, to their peers.
The cross-border project “Weavers of Peace” provides support for young people in the field of social entrepreneurship. In each of the project sites in Gabon mentioned above, the capacities of the young men and women peace weavers are being strengthened on social entrepreneurship, and some income-generating initiatives with a view to facilitating their socio-economic integration and strengthening the community fabric.
Following the training sessions, from February 22-24, PAYNCOP book part in a meeting in Ebolowa, Cameron, organized by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UNESCO to strengthen and consolidate cross-border cooperation on the issues of combating illicit drug trafficking and natural resources. PAYNCOP was represented by National Secretary Jerry Bibang from Gabon and the National Coordinator of PAYNCOP Cameroon, Loïck Nkoulou Atangana.
The representatives of PAYNCOP pointed out that the early warning mechanism of the Weavers of Peace, designed initially for issues of peace and security can also be adapted to the fight against drugs and various types of trafficking. This is how it was tested in Cameroon by the Weavers of Peace, particularly in schools to dismantle a network of young drug-using students.