CLEEN Foundation in her work on promoting public safety and security through its Building Community Resilience Project, partners Non-Governmental Organizations, Trees on Earth Development Foundation (TEDF) based in Kogi State and Next Generation Youth Initiative International (NeYGII) based in Benue State to build community resilience in response to preventing violent extremism conflicts.
The communities’ residents are being trained to resist any form of violent extremism using inclusive participation. The project is ongoing in four communities, Kabba and Lokoja in Kogi state, Buruku and Makurdi in Benue state. Community change agents, traditional/religious leaders, women/youth leaders, Police Officers, other security personnel, heads of vigilantes, representatives of farmers-herders, Miyetti-Allah, ethnic groups, and local government personnel are members of the Community Resilience Forum-a platform established by this initiative. Other established platforms are, Women in Peace Building, Youth Against Violence Extremism Forum, Truth and Reconciliation Committee.
For effective project implementation, quality and delivery, CLEEN trained its partners on Grant and Project Management. Currently, the various community resilience projects in the respective communities are being implemented effectively.
As a community-driven initiative, it offers the residents platforms for learning and discussing security issues affecting them, identify potential conflicts, early warning signs and proffer solutions to foster peace and harmony in the community.
In our field monitoring and evaluation visit to assess the project performance and impact, a police officer in Buruku police station in Benue state, clearly stated that their record of cases has dropped drastically as community members no longer report cases to them. Community members now use community based platforms for real reconciliations.
The traditional ruler of Buruku community equally noted that the project made a huge impact on him. Prior to the project, he refused to extend electricity to a neighbouring community as a result of a conflict between them and his community. Having participated in the project, he realized the importance of peace, and that made him embrace the community that was considered an enemy, and instructed that electricity be given to the community.
Odo Nnamdi Hyginus, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, CLEEN Foundation