July 8, 2022

I established Peace Clubs in secondary schools to address insecurity- Youth Corper, Eze Precious

I established Peace Clubs in secondary schools to address insecurity- Youth Corper, Eze Precious

By Gabriel Olawale

A Youth Corps Member, Eze Precious has explained that she was motivated to establish Peace Clubs in secondary schools due to the increase in religious intolerance and violent extremism in Nigeria which has resulted in outbursts in various states across the country.

Precious, who was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2021, made this known to journalists yesterday in Abuja.

Precious, who completed her NYSC yesterday and keen on Public International Law, stated that the “Peace Club for Change Project” would contribute to building Peace in Nigeria, adding that the NYSC scheme further cultivated her spirit of selfless service to the community.

She explained that the Peace Club for change project seeks to carve a better future for every child, institutionalize Peace education and contribute immensely to reducing the number of children who are indoctrinated and recruited into violent armed groups. UNICEF reports that over 8,000 girls and boys have been recruited into armed groups since 2009. All of these challenges are what the Peace Club for change project seeks to address by adopting a sustainable peace building approach at the grassroots.

While explaining further, The Legal Luminary noted that she selected 10 schools and visited some of them for a needs assessment for the project implementation. During the assessment, she discovered that the schools had other clubs in existence but had no Peace Clubs.

“After communicating with the very interested principals, I wrote a letter to the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) and the Secondary Education Board (SEB) to establish Peace Clubs in (4) and (5) schools respectively.

“However, the Secondary Education Board’s application was declined but the Universal Basic Education Board’s application was approved after series of convincing and satisfaction on the part of the board of my ability to undertake the project.

“The approval was to establish Peace Clubs in four schools namely: Junior Secondary School Kagini, JSS Wuse Zone 2, JSS Narai & JSS Karu.” She explained.

Speaking on her plan for the Peace Clubs, The Lawyer stated that she has commenced visiting the schools to observe their club activities and will continue to do so in coming months to monitor progress and offer support where required.

Precious, lauded her family and friends, the UNODC, Actionaid, the Pan African Young Diplomats Forum, the Center for Peace Advocacy and sustainable development and Haly Hope Foundation – all organizations who supported her in different capacities to implement the project.

Following a club pre-opening session at Junior Secondary School Wuse Zone 2, a workshop for Peace Club teachers and student leads held between Wednesday June 29th to Friday July 1st to equip teachers and students with the requisite knowledge of Peace Education and the skill-set for effective Club management.

Facilitators for the workshop included a United States Institute for Peace GC Fellow, A senior Lecturer and psychotherapist at Baze University, a Programme Coordinator at Actionaid, a UNODC’s Education for Justice Resource Person and an officer at Women in Politics forum.

The workshop proved very interactive and engaging with key lessons for the scale-up of the Peace Clubs being delivered. Ms Elizabeth, a teacher at JSS Karu who participated at the workshop in describing her experience stated that “It was very educative, interactive and practical, now I am better equipped with the knowledge and skill-set to talk about Peace to anyone, anywhere and to more importantly instil a culture of peace and tolerance to my students at school.

Khadijah Nuhu, a student of JSS Narai noted that the training was eye-opening for her as she learnt about Peace building, leadership, group facilitation skills, trafficking and human rights. She noted that she enjoyed the role play and practical work sessions of the workshop the most.

According to her, the knowledge gained from the training would help her solve the problem of bullying in her school.

Mrs Ojo, Director Special Duties, Universal Basic Education Board who came to observe the training commended the initiative and stated that it was a brilliant initiative to build sustainable Peace from early on.

On the last day of the training, a Peace Club charter was signed by each school delineating the guiding principles, personal resolutions, aspirations and next action points for Club activities in the respective schools.

Precious stated that “the peace Club for Change project” is now a lifetime project. I am thankful that the idea kicked off during my service year. I am committed to continually monitor and groom the Clubs to attain their full potential and to impact the targeted change. I am also keen on working with the Universal Basic Education Board and other relevant government agencies to scale up the spread of Peace Clubs to other schools in the FCT to further address insecurity and engage our children to be become global changemakers and Peace Advocates.