ABOUT THE PROJECT
WEP- Connecting women and youths in violent extremist prone areas through Empowerment and skills acquisition.
The North Central Region where Benue State and the LGs of interventions are situated has experienced conflict and violent confrontations since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999. These conflicts are generally attributed to the search for scarce resources arising from desertification and climate change in the far Northern part of the country which has led to mass migration into the middle belt region by Herdsmen resulting in violent confrontations between them and farmers and; political recognition; communal disputes within and between communities over land and other natural resources and over chieftaincy titles.
The Boko Haram Extremist group has used the forced migration and its resultant violent confrontations to their advantage to infiltrate communities in Benue State especially in WEP’s proposed LGs of intervention Ado, Agatu, Buruku, Guma, Kwande and Logo where the violent attacks have become alarming. This has led to the government’s Secret Police (DSS) alleging that ISIS in West Africa has also capitalized on the violence and conflict to join forces with Boko Haram to recruit and perpetrate violence against communities in the region leading to loss of lives on a large scale and the destruction of property worth billions of naira.
WEPs proposed programme seeks to achieve strengthened community resilience to prevent violent extremism in the communities of intervention in particular and Benue State in general. The proposed programme will address the lack of sense of purpose, poverty, lack of opportunities and the attraction to perceived improvements in status and power and promise of financial gain by joining violent extremist groups which are the major drivers of violent extremism in the target locations.
The FJDP with WEP intends to work with young women and young men, local religious, teachers, traditional and administrative leaders to strengthen community systems and structures that support resistance to recruitment and radicalization to violent extremism; enhance livelihood opportunities to reduce individual vulnerability and increase self-confidence and worth among vulnerable youth in the communities. It will combine these approaches with strengthening the capacity of communities to enable them come up self-discerned, community driven initiatives to help them mobilize, organize and represent their own interests and actively engage with authorities on issues that are relevant and matter to them.
WEP shall adopt the consortium approach working with credible and experienced organizations with presence and track record of PVE related work in the six intended LGs of intervention. The Consortium will work with relevant stakeholders such as community leaders, young women and young men, local religious, traditional and administrative leaders, schools, community-based organizations, change agents, NGOs and security actors to through capacity development, provision of alternatives through livelihood support, advocacy, sensitization, media programs, informative, communicative and educative publications, dialogues and mentorship opportunities strengthen community agency, build social cohesion and entrench equal access to opportunities while building a high sense of purpose amongst vulnerable youth of communities.