From Gyang Bere, Jos
Following the decades of violent conflicts that perished several lives and displaced dozen of citizens, Centre for Conflict Reconciliation and Documentation (CCRD) has began an awareness campaign to promote peaceful co-existence and harmonious relationship among citizens in the area.
The project Coordinator, Lydia Mang disclosed this during an advocacy visit to launch the project in six local government areas of Plateau State who witnessed massive impact of the violence.
Mang said the project which would be carried out in collaboration with the Dantala Group, through the use of Ndengdeng music, titled “Unity, Recovery, and Resilience in Conflict-Affected Communities in Plateau State”, funded by the USAID/OTI Nigeria Early Recovery Initiative Program (USAID/OTI NERI) will promote peace in the area.
She explained that the main objective of the project is to promote peaceful coexistence and harmonious relationship across the divides of ethnicity, religion.
The Coordinator said the project leverages Ndengdeng music and dance to revitalize social cohesion, traditional and moral values, re-establish trust and promote peaceful coexistence.
Mang noted that “the project targets 90 youth beneficiaries (15 from each of the implementing community. The implementing communities are Mai Rana (Mangu LGA), Ruboi (Bokkos LGA), Dorowa Babuje (Barkin-Ladi LGA), Ta-hoss (Riyom LGA), Miango (Bassa) and Gyel (Jos South).
“The communities were selected based on their history of disputes, to share the beautiful sounds of Ndengdeng music – which is valued as a shared and deeply cultural and peace-driven music – and will therefore provide the space for peaceful engagements, lasting peace, and community stability.
“The activity will address Plateau state’s divides through Ndengdeng music and dance, unite conflicting communities and return these communities to the trust and love that existed amongst the people long before the divide.”
Lydia further explained that the project will collaborate with key community stakeholders and also key stakeholders at the State level which include the Plateau State Peace Building Agency and the Plateau State Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Also speaking during the awareness creation program, the legendary Nigerian cultural musician, Dantala J. Dewan who is the Project’s Lead Performer, stated that key activities to be carried out on the project include the Ndendeng music and dance workshop and bootcamp for youth beneficiaries.
He said the activities, which will culminate into community theatre for peace and development performance in all the implementing LGAs, and a state-wide concert bringing together stakeholders from the communities, civil society, government ministries and agencies.
He explained that a video documentary will be produced at the end of the project, which will be widely disseminated as a tool/strategy for promoting unity, recovery, and resilience building in conflict affected communities in Plateau State.