According to the 2019 Global Peace Index or GPI report, Nigeria ranks among the least peaceful locations worldwide. The Global Peace Index analyses the state of peace around the world as an attempt to measure the relative position of nations’ peacefulness.
The GPI measures peacefulness across three domains: safety and security, ongoing conflict, and militarisation. Visibly, experiences of sadness, stress, and worry have encompassed so many Nigerians within the last decade.
A recent intelligence report by SB Morgan, titled “The Economics of Nigeria’s Kidnap Industry: Follow the Money,” was published on August 23, 2023.
An excerpt from the report says: “Between July 2022 and June 2023, 3,620 people were abducted in 582 kidnap-related incidents in the country, with a reported ransom demand of at least N5 billion and actual ransom payments of N302 million. However, this figure could be higher due to underreporting.“
These dark events prompted Winner Ogogo, a recent graduate of Peace and Conflict Resolution to indulge herself in the sustainable development goal that relates to peace, SDG 16.
Winner, who graduated with a first-class degree from the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, has always been dedicated to fostering peace in communities across the country. This has influenced her to engage actively in the world of volunteering.
Her zeal got her a leadership role in the Global Alliance for Ministries and Infrastructure for Peace or GAMIP for the Nigerian Youth Forum, where she served voraciously as an undergraduate.
After graduating, in her quest to impact change and spread the peace culture, she started her own initiative, Humanitarian Advocacy for Peace and Education Initiative.
“I realised that over the years during my undergraduate studies, these violent issues were prevalent. I also learned that the government can not achieve it all. We need more organisations to also stand up. And now, I am coming as a youth and this is a youth-led initiative, giving our own quota to the society for us to have lasting peace“, she said.
Speaking further, Winner stated that the initiative was centred on helping those displaced by violence and war: “It also came from the place of addressing the issue of conflict, IDPs, out-of-school children.”
Her newly established organisation aims to provide solutions by addressing the humanitarian crisis resulting from conflicts and insurgencies. This crisis has led to challenges such as a high number of out-of-school children, internally displaced persons, and increased poverty rates in the nation.
The organisation is devoted to ensuring equitable and quality education, focusing on promoting education for girls, especially in Northern Nigeria. Additionally, it is implementing strategies to combat violence, striving to foster a sustainable and peaceful society.
She said that their operations would involve stakeholders and involve field research without relying on any secondary sources for their interventions. “We want to understand their problems, then we carry out our programs in alignment with our goals”, she told Prime Progress.
With her nine volunteers, she plans to have communities imbibe peace education and train students to be peace ambassadors.
She expressed her intention to establish peace clinics in every educational institution, providing young people with the opportunity to learn conflict resolution skills that will contribute to making our world a better place.
“Without peace, we cannot achieve development and growth,” she concluded.