By Naomi MacMurdie
Throughout the month of March, members of a new “Peace Club” in Tanzania campaigned to raise awareness in their local communities about peacebuilding strategies and resources, and to promote a support network to uplift and fortify families against violent extremism.
The Youth Peace Club, called the “Amani Yetu-Uhai Wetu project,” is a collaborative effort of Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Tanzania and Tanzania Building Future Organization.
Twenty young leaders were selected as peacebuilding representatives for nine villages in Nanguruwe and Msimbati. Together, they cooperated with local government authorities to share education in peacebuilding by empowering the community with the knowledge to recognize some of the negative incidents and group charactistics that may lead to conflict. The grassroots campaign included door-to-door conversations as well as visits to local primary and secondary schools. After presentations at four schools, sixty students also joined the ranks of peacebuilding leaders.
Visiting community members in their own neighborhoods was said to be an effective method to inspire community peacebuilding. “This door-to-door approach is very successful as it strengthens awareness among family members on peacebuilding as well as providing them various techniques to strengthen unity and love for a peaceful family,” said Mr. Bushiri Yusuph, who was visited by the peace club members at his home.
“Through Peace Club, we are able to learn how to influence other students to be ambassadors of peace in the community and in their families.” —Hadija Omar, Peace Club Member (Nanguruwe Sec. School)
“The community has had a positive response on this project,” added Juma Abdulkarim, a club member and leader. “We have been getting very good collaboration and response from the family members and they are ready to learn and talk openly about conflicts in their homes and how they can ensure peaceful families.”
The Youth Peace Club hopes to expand to surrounding regions and plans to continue door-to-door campaigns and youth volunteer activities, and also plans on hosting public assemblies to raise awareness of violent extremism prevention and peacebuilding.