YOUTH PEACEBUILDING ACADEMY (YPA)

Plan International is partnering with CEPAN in implementing the Youth Peacebuilding Academy (YPA) project in the following communities:  Yelwa Shendam in Shendam LGA, Jos Jarawa in Jos North LGA, Daffo in Bokkos LGA, Mangu in Mangu LGA and Rukuba in Bassa LGA all in Plateau State.​​​​​​

The goal of the project is to develop the skills of youth leaders in Plateau State and mobilize them to design and lead initiatives that build peace and tolerance in their communities, through the following objective:

    1. Increase peacebuilding, project management, and conflict management skills among youth of Kaduna and          Plateau States.

    2. and Increase opportunities for youth-led action to build inter-communal tolerance and peace in targeted             communities.

Through this project, Plan will continue the work of the YPA in the five locations where it exists now in Kaduna State and create the YPA in Plateau State which will serve as a center of excellence for 100 young leaders aged 18 to 35. Through peer to peer mentoring and coaching using Plan’s already existing peacebuilding approaches, this project will develop the technical and project management skills of YPA participants for them to design and lead interfaith peacebuilding processes. The project will also serve as a venue for young leaders in Kaduna and Plateau States to meet with other young leaders from different ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds to exchange ideas and experiences to enhance their peacebuilding initiatives.

By working with young leaders to drive peace and tolerance building processes, this project addresses the challenges of religious intolerance through an intersectional approach from a local perspective with locally led design and ownership. This approach intends to ground these initiatives with local contextual knowledge and support communities’ trust of the project’s interventions. It also creates a more sustainable base of local knowledge of peacebuilding processes and serves as an example for other youth in the area. Upon completing the YPA workshop, cohorts of participants will develop joint proposals for peacebuilding initiatives they will conduct in their home communities. Upon review of the cohorts’ proposals, Plan will work with participants to refine these concepts, generate work plans, and provide each YPA cohort with up to $4,900 to realize their plans. Overall, YPA peacebuilding initiatives will address the key causes of intolerance in the participants’ home communities, including distrust, societal pressures, and competition for resources and are expected to reach 16,000 individuals.

This project is designed to reach a total of 200 direct beneficiaries from 10 communities in Kaduna and Plateau States through participation in YPA courses. Collaborating with these young leaders, the project intends to reach approximately 5 million indirect beneficiaries with the YPA initiatives and radio messaging that builds inter-communal peace and tolerance. By the end of the project, this work is expected to strengthen the freedoms of thought, conscience, and religion by building social inclusion through awareness and tolerance of differing religions, beliefs, and non-beliefs.