Some years ago when Michael 'Femi Sodipo fell victim to violence in northern Nigeria that was sparked by mistrust and misunderstanding between people of different backgrounds, he did not then fall victim to a hatred towards those who had wronged him. Instead, trough an act of love, he decided to do something to help bring peace to the world. As a result, he founded the Peace Initiative Network. Below, in the organization's own words is a brief overview of what was created out of one man's desire to bring harmony and understanding between neighbors.
Peace building is one of the greatest challenges face today in the global system. No region of the world is immune from violent, conflict. Which has inflicted immense damage, caused untold grief and impoverished millions of people mostly children across the globe -especially in Africa. Ending the violence that inflicts Africa and Middle East (rebuilding Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq) and the terrific aftermath effect of September 11 and the threat posed by the transnational terrorism are alarming.
The lofty idea behind the formation of Peace Initiative Network (PIN) is tailored into three thematic areas: Peace Building, Democracy /Good Governance, and development. PIN is set to advance the promotion of peace, democracy and socio-economic development in Nigeria, Africa and among the nations and regions of the world. The organization also functions as a catalyst, and think-tank for policy inputs.
Peace Initiative Network, since its inception in 2004 has committed itself irrevocably to conflict mitigation and development in Nigeria and beyond through participatory research, capacity development i.e. experiential workshop and seminars, and advocacy, sanitization/awareness campaigns, networking and coalition building among stakeholders such as relevant research institutes, civil society organizations and media outreach.
The organization's web site also states:
The travails of every nation form a significant part of its history, from which lessons are learnt, and corrections taken. The political history of our Country, Nigeria, is replete with man-made circumstances and events, which on hindsight seem avoidable.
The Nigerian nation is heterogeneous in composition, especially given the historical peculiarities of the different nationalities that make up the nation. There are also the diversity of cultures, ethnic groups and religions. In spite of this diversity, there has been a strong resolve among the people to live together and to build a united, virile and indivisible nation.
The resolve, however, has received some challenges over the years, as was manifested in the civil war of 1967-1970 and other internecine feuds and ethno-religious violence. It was a response to these myriads of violence that prompted the emergence of this laudable project - Peace Initiative Network.
Peace Initiative Network is a voluntary non governmental, non-profit making, non-partisan in politics and religion, charitable organization dedicated to the promotion of peace, unity and harmony in Nigeria, Africa and among the nations and regions of the world. The organization functions as a catalyst, and think-tank for public policy input
Our mission is to prevent, manage violent conflict through public enlightenment and sensitization in Nigeria and globally.
Peace Initiative Network is committed to the realization of these set objectives:
1. To promote the cause of Nigerian unity and nation building
2. To encourage International Cooperation and collaboration toward achieving peaceful co-existence globally.
3. To apply global information communication technology in propagating against all sorts of political violence and terrorism globally.
4. To promote peace, conflict resolution and harmony through research, charitable disbursements and the support of voluntary humanitarian services.
5. To organize periodically intellectual forum - public lectures, seminars, workshops, conferences etc on conflict resolution and peace.
6. To publish newsletter, monograph, journal and book on peace
7. To establish an Institute for peace studies.
8. To advocate for the inclusion of peace study in school curriculum at all level of education in Nigeria.
9. To engage in public diplomatic campaign with the use of pamphlets, posters, handbills, fliers, stickers, transit signs, door signs etc.
The organization is working to realize the value, principles and goals contained in the united nation millennium summit declaration: peace, security, development, poverty eradication, human right, democracy, governance, protecting the vulnerable and meeting the special needs of developing countries especially Africa.
One of Peace Initiative Network's projects is the Debate to Action Program
Peace Initiative Network (PIN) is a Debate to Action - DTA participant for 2006/2007. Debate to Action is a program of the World Bank Institute and British Council strategic partnership project for training of trainers (TOT) program aimed at youth leaders in youth organization and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Nigeria with knowledge of poverty reduction through Millennium Development Goals and the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) in Nigeria.
The youth organization arm of the program was launched in Nigeria in September 2004. Peace Initiative Network is a participant in the current year 2006/2007 - coordinated by Patience Asekomeh - Program Officer, Peace Initiative Network.
The objectives of the program are to:
Strengthen the development knowledge base and information networks of youth leaders and youth organizations
Enhance the capacity of young people to become active and effective in helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) through their work at the local and state level
Increase youth awareness of what is already being done within their communities to help achieve the MDGs and NEEDS objectives, and how they can contribute to the process.
Improve participants' own livelihood skills through enhancing their project management, critical thinking, communication, and training skills.
To read more about the Peace Initiative Network visit their website.
Peace Initiative Network