The following is the address delivered by H.E. Hajiya Amina Namadi Sambo, founder of I Care-Women and Youth Initiative during the Global Peace Convention 2017.
I am highly delighted to be part of yet another peace convention, and to have the honour of being amongst the speakers at this auspicious Global Peace Convention; a global organization that is synonymous to peace which I am very proud to be part of.
It was just like yesterday that I attended the GPC in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, in 2013. It is still fresh in my memory due to the experience and lessons derived from that convention.
It was a turning point in our collective efforts to ensure peace always reigns in Nigeria. The take-aways from that Convention and subsequent interactions and programmes by the Global Peace Foundation-Nigeria have not only changed and facilitated more peace building processes, but also widened the horizon and provided more platforms for sensitization, education and dialogue amongst warring factions in Kaduna and other parts of Nigeria. We view peace as synonymous to development; hence we take every step to ensure its sustainability.
My NGO, I-CARE Women and Youth Initiative, whose primary aim is to improve the life of women, youth, physically challenged and other vulnerable persons in the society started paying more attention to peace facilitation and peace building processes.
We believe the active participation of women leads to development of peaceful and just society. For overall development of women in any country, focus must be given on factors like education, gender-friendly laws, strong political commitment for women development, mainstreaming of women issues, empowerment, and increment of women participation and creation of effective environment for development.
We used our privileged position to advocate women participation especially in leadership, peace building process and also engaged traditional and religious leaders.
Our efforts are gradually yielding results, as women to some extent now play roles in peace building processes and are carried along in many aspects that were hitherto exclusive reserve of the men folk in our country.
Women's relevance to the overall development of the society as well as influence especially over youths is increasingly emerging and used to achieve peace and harmony.
A point in reference is the rising profile of WOMEN’S SITUATION ROOMS made up of prominent African women that have now become force to reckon with in politics, especially in the buildup, during and after general elections in almost all African countries.
The WOMEN’S SITUATION ROOMS engage mostly the youths and mobilize them to be in the vanguard in ensuring peaceful elections. The role they played in facilitating peaceful elections in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana are pointers to the effectiveness of new models of peace building processes, which are both preventive and curative.
Vijaya Pandit says "the more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war"
Being natural peace lovers and peacemakers, women are more sensitive to the wellbeing of others. We therefore continuously explore their compassion, love, care, cooperative and temperament that make peace building and conflict resolution achievable and sustainable.
These are not only assertions or sentiments. They have proved to be so, in my country Nigeria which has been suffering violent clashes and insurgency. Women, children and other vulnerable people are mostly affected. We have always strived to ensure that these are reduced to the barest minimum by exploring the peace mechanisms available to us.
That is why I find the theme for the 2017 Global Peace Convention, “moral and innovative leadership: New models for peace and development" spot on.
The natures of conflicts keep getting sophisticated. Moral and Innovative leadership are imperative to addressing them. And these are models that will facilitate peace and development.
These however need local, national and international partnerships. The Global Peace Foundation-Nigeria is already doing much by engaging stakeholders to facilitate peace under ONE FAMILY UNDER GOD.
We have also delved into social problems that threaten the society; such as substance abuse by women, which we took a strong measure and adopted a comprehensive approach to address it. We have equally partnered with other like-minded groups and individuals to ensure that peace, harmony and tranquility reigns.
In the course of our effort to build women confidence to contribute to peace building in their communities, I always urge them be peaceful, preach peace, act peaceful and live peacefully. We always emphasize on these five attributes as our guiding principles:
- Be proud of our gender and never consider it to be a disadvantage but as a tool for peace
- Be in peace with our inner selves.
- Relate with all with honesty, mutual respect and compassion.
- Appreciate our potentials and deploy it appropriately, to produce positive results.
- Respect other peoples’ views, culture, religion and beliefs, irrespective of our diversity.
These are the magic wand we wave to turn hostility into hospitality, hate into love and punches into embrace.
But most importantly our ceaseless and fervent prayers are paramount to sustainable peace and development.
I will like to end with this quote by Robert Fulhum which has almost become a permanent feature in my remarks at every forum where peace is discussed;
Peace is not something you wish for, it is something you make, something you do, something you are and something you give away.
While expressing my gratitude for being part of this effort to contribute to a new world social order that will promote and facilitate everlasting peace, I want to commend the founding fathers of the Global Peace Foundation international for their foresight, wisdom and never relenting hard work. I also wish you all fruitful deliberations.
I will also like to extend my profound gratitude to Dr. Mrs. Moon for appointing me as a member of the International Advisory Council, and finding me capable of serving.
I thank you most sincerely for this honour.
Long live Global Peace Foundation - International!
Long live Global Peace Women!
Thank you most sincerely for your attention.