The Catholic Bishop of Jalingo Diocese, Most Rev. Dr. Charles Hammawa has tasked young people trained by SELL foundation to serve as agents of peace and transformation in their communities in order to have a society that values and respects human dignity. Bishop Hammawa gave the charge during the stakeholders’ engagement forum/opening ceremony of a 4 days training for SELL volunteers, CSOs, security agencies and other youth groups holding at St. Charles Borromeo Pastoral Centre, Jalingo Taraba state.
The Bishop cautioned the youths against being used as political thugs, warning that the young people cannot attain their potentials and take up the mantle of leadership where they will dispense it with justice, fairness and high responsibility.
Bishop Hammawa thanked SELL Foundation for its continuous effort in ensuring the young people are impacted through its formative and transformative programme. He said the aim of SELL Foundation is commendable and laudable, and the thematic areas in the ongoing training are key ways to developing the society and something to bear in mind and work towards.
Speaking at the event, Chaplain of the Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria (CYON) Rev. Fr. Jacob Wovoro noted that the training is timely as Taraba state is faced with challenges around child abuse, insecurity, armed-robbery and communal clashes. “The reality is that we are living in a time of great confusion where people feel insecure in their homes, where we sleep with one eye opened and where the future is uncertain” He added.
Fr. Wovoro expressed optimism that the aim of the gathering facilitated by SELL foundation and the focus of the training is to confront our challenges through sincere interactions with one another as well as proffer solutions that will address the numerous crimes in the community.
Also speaking, Alhaji Safianu Umar representative of the Muslim Council highlighted that education is very important in Islamic religion and children have been given opportunity to go outside their comfort zone to obtain that knowledge. He said SELL Foundation is also that learning environment which the Islamic group did not hesitate to associates with as the Foundation has made and continue to impact on the young people across the state and North East and Plateau State Nigeria.
Alhaji Umar added that the thematic areas at the ongoing training are timely as Jalingo has become vulnerable to all sorts of crimes and criminality. He said the training by SELL Foundation will complement what the religious leaders are doing in the state to ensure peace among various religions and tribes. He ended his goodwill message with a clarion call to the participants to ensure that they step-down whatever they may learn at the training to other youth groups so as to have a better and informed community.
On his part, Dr. Benedict Williams, representative of the Inter-religious Dialogue Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Jalingo also added that SELL stands for learning which is in line with the mission of the inter-religious commission in the Catholic Diocese of Jalingo. He called on the young people to get to interact with one another and understand the language of one another so that building a peaceful environment will be attained.
The opening ceremony brought together representatives from the Muslim Council, Inter-Religious Commission of the Catholic Diocese of Jalingo, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Security agencies to mark the commencement of a four days training on Child Safeguarding and Protection, Gender Based Violence and Peace/Conflict Resolution.
Highlight of the occasion was the declaration of the training opened by His Lordship, Most Rev. Dr. Charles Hammawa, Catholic Bishop of Jalingo Diocese.
written by Emily Ranna Yinala
SELL communications officer