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Farmers and Fulani: Dancing Away Their Conflicts!

This article first appeared on thenewsnigeria.com on 06/05/2016.

In Nigeria, farmers and Fulani pastoralists live like two cocks thrown into a pit. The love between them is, apologies to Chinua Achebe, akin to the one between the goat and the cocoyam.

That is why, in different parts of the country, clashes by Fulani herdsmen and farmers have resulted in deaths of hundreds.
However, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Search for Common Ground, on Saturday held cultural performance to promote peace and unity among farmers and herdsmen in Plateau.
Search for Common Ground, according to a NAN report, is currently working in 35 countries of the world to promote peaceful coexistence amongst the people.

The cultural performance was organized in collaboration with the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) of the Catholic Archdiocese of Jos.
The event, tagged “I Will Follow the Green Grass”, had in attendance traditional leaders, youths, women and other stakeholders in peace building activities.

Speaking at the event, Mr Rajendra Mulmi, the Country Director, Search for Common Ground Nigeria, said the cultural performance was aimed at ending clashes among herdsmen and farmers.
He said that the cross-cultural dance show was organized to express the need for herdsmen and farmers to embrace the peace.
“Peace is the most essential thing everybody needs; it is essential because without it, there will be no meaningful development.”

“So, we decided to adopt the cultural approach so as to show to both the herders and the farmers that they have a lot in common and so the clashes are uncalled for,” he said.
The Plateau Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Peter Mwankon, commended the efforts of the organizers for the relative peace being enjoyed in the state.
He said government was making frantic efforts to sustain the current peace in the state to enable it attain meaningful growth and development.

He urged other NGOs to emulate the organizers in preaching the gospel of peace to the people at both rural and urban areas.
The highlight of the event was a drama presentation by Fulani and Berom youths and dance presentation by various cultural groups.
Similar event was organized in Kaduna and Nasarawa states.

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USAID to Participate in Girls’ Education Forum

For Immediate Release
Thursday, July 7, 2016
USAID Press Office

Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email: USAIDPressOfficers@usaid.gov | Twitter: @USAIDPress
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today at the Girls’ Education Forum in London, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a commitment of $25 million through Let Girls Learn to help sustain a teacher apprenticeship program in Afghanistan for adolescent girls, as part of a new partnership with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) Girls Education Challenge (GEC).

Afghanistan suffers from a dearth of qualified female teachers. Adolescent girls in Afghanistan are often only able to receive an education from female teachers, due to persisting cultural norms. USAID’s contribution will help to establish a teacher apprenticeship program for adolescent girls in grades 9-12. The program will enable students to utilize their newly learned skills to move directly into careers as teachers, and educate the next generation of Afghan girls.

“Today, we are reaffirming our commitment to ensure adolescent girls across Afghanistan have access to the knowledge and skills they need to build a better future for themselves and for their country,” said USAID Assistant to the Administrator Larry Sampler.

“Education doesn’t just shape individuals, it shapes countries – but right now too many young girls are deprived of an education simply because of their gender,” said UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening. “That’s why we will work with USAID to help teenage girls in Afghanistan train as teachers. This will both give them the vocational education they need to get a stable job as well as boost the number of female teachers, encouraging more girls to stay in school.”

Let Girls Learn is a U.S. Government initiative that brings together the U.S. Department of State, USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the Peace Corps, and is intended to help adolescent girls access a quality education by addressing the range of barriers that often prevent girls from enrolling and staying in school, including lack of schools, gender-based violence, and early marriage.

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