Youth peace challenge: European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria

In a world where the very essence of democracy can sometimes be marred by unrest and discord, which often leads to family disintegration, resulting in child separation and sometimes abandonment, the conversation around strategies to mitigate electoral violence will remain recurrent. Mitigating electoral violence is not merely a lofty aspiration—it is a vital necessity. It requires vision, courage, and the willingness to bridge divides and foster dialogue in the face of adversity. There is no better way to address these issues than to involve the youth and young people in our communities in this process.

In Nigeria, SOS Children’s Villages in collaboration with CISLAC & CAPPA is implementing component six (6) of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria (EUSDGN) programme. The objective of the programme is to transform cultural and societal norms, values, and behaviors to reduce violence, support dialogue, and negotiation, and address the fundamental causes of electoral and other conflicts in 7 states. The programme has the following components being implemented by several partners:

  • Support to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
  • Support to The National Assembly and the Judiciary
  • Support to Political Parties
  • Support to the Media
  • Support to Women, Youth, and Persons with Disability
  • Support to civil society organisations

 

As part of activities being implemented on the programme, SOS Children’s Villages organized a digital video competition- Youth Peace Challenge. The challenge required young people in Lagos, Kaduna, Oyo, Borno, Benue, Rivers, and Imo State to share their strategies to mitigate electoral violence in a 60-second video.

49 entries and 21 finalists later, 7 winners emerged, winning the cash prize of #200,000 naira each. The winners were announced and rewarded In a hybrid event held on August 21, 2023, in Lagos state. At the ceremony, videos of the 3 finalists from each state were exhibited. The winners of this challenge have proven to us that young people are not passive bystanders, but active participants in shaping the future of our societies. As we applaud the remarkable work of these finalists and winners, let us also recognize their success as an inspiration, to advocate for the safety of children by promoting dialogue and negotiation to address the fundamental causes of electoral violence in Nigeria.

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