June 27th 2017

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NGO trains Wajir youths on countering violent extremism

Messages from the conference organisers and other community leaders centred on giving the youth a platform for catalytic action for change as opinion leaders in communities facing the threat of violent extremism and youth radicalization.

By Abdirahman Rashid Farahabdirahmancajab@gmail.comThursday, 18 May 2017 12:49 EAT

The workshop's participants pose for a group photo.

Pastrol Heritage Concern, a non-governmental development organization working for social development of vulnerable and less fortunate people in northern Kenya, yesterday conducted a Youth Countering Violence (CVE) forum at Red Cross Center in Wajir Town, with youths from the six sub counties in the region attending. 

Founded in 2011, the NGO does work in peace building and conflict resolution, youth and women empowerment, health sector including HIV/Aids awareness and development of livelihoods in poor communities. Dozens of youths attended the training in order to learn strategies of countering violent extremism.

The forum aimed to build resilience against extremism, provide youth with opportunity to explore the countering violent extremism dynamics, radicalization and introduce the concept of community resilience. It explored ways of understanding violent extremism, radicalization, intolerance and exclusion of others as a means towards development of a just, cohesive and inclusive community.

Messages from the conference organisers and other community leaders centred on giving the youth a platform for catalytic action for change as opinion leaders in communities facing the threat of violent extremism and youth radicalization. 

Among the leaders were OCPD Wajir East, Wajir Kadhi Osman, Ahmed Adan Hifow chief programmes officer of PHC, Abdinoor Omar, community mobilization officer from Kenya Ni Wajibu Wetu Niwetu, deputy county commissioner Wajir South, and fomer MP for Wajir North Dubow Gabow who is currently national director for the people with disability.

Mr Osman, the Wajir Kadhi, said no religion stands for terrorism, stressing that Islam is a religion of peace. He said it was not allowed for Muslims to kill oneself in the name going to heaven. He urged the youths to avoid terrorism acts and desist from using religion as platform of terrorism.

The OCPD for Wajir East said police are there for the people of Kenya. He said fighting terrorism is the responsibility of every Kenyan not only the work of the security agencies. He urged the public to support the police by feeding with information. The OCPD said terror groups and there recruit agencies are there to destroy  your life as youths. The OCPD assured security will be tight come elections time.


A security officer addresses the meeting.

On his part, Mr Dubow said youth are the backbone of the nation. He said terror is not a solution to anyone's grievances, and said education is the only key weapon to fight terror. He said its may privilege to say something in this forum which is different from, countering violence extremism. Ladies and gentlemen always support disability and care them.

Mr Abdinnor supported the theme of the day and thanked PCH for the wonderful youth engagement. He said its individual responsibility to avoid radicalization. "As youth we need a good future to live than destroying our life," he said.

Ahmed Adan is the one who facilitated the forum. He said the day's topics were selected in order to educate youths on radicalization. He said terror groups are targeting university students of which their aim is to destroy life. He requested the police officers to be responsible and work with communities in order to fight violence extremism.

Abdirahman Rashid Farah is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Wajir County





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