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Catch Them Young To Prevent Intergenerational Transfer of Bigotry


Photo of John Dada
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What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

The primary victims of the 2011 election violence included the Fulanis, who are largely Muslims and indigenous Christian population in Kafanchan and surrounding villages. The presidential election dispute was promoted as an ethno-religious conflict. The partisan political atmosphere conveniently ignored the underlying hordes of unemployed youths. Since 2015, 5 million people on average have joined the workforce annually and only 5% can find work, and by 2019, there were 33 million unemployed. Political disagreements easily mobilize this restive population of youths with ethnic and religious differences weaponized to make political gains. The demonization of specific tribal groups, such as the Fulani, by key national political figures and members of the academia and the media has led to increased attacks on this group of largely itinerant nomads. This is not to deny the existence of a minority criminal elements among the Fulani, whose numbers are generally less than for other ethnic groups. The recent cycle of tribe-on-tribe violence has led to large numbers of internally displaced persons. Many of these tribes are in their 4th and 5th generation and the youths have no where else to call their homes. Catch Them Young Through Education and Sports is a sustainable and credible strategy that restores mutual respect and trust. Such strategies promote collaborations among youths of different ethno-religious groups of youths help to mitigate inter-generational transmission of hate speeches, rejection of fake news and rejection of violence as a means of settling disputes

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Conflicts in Southern Kaduna region of northern Nigeria dates back to colonial past. From the 1970s, competition for political and territorial space has been accentuated and exacerbated by religious and ethnic entrepreneurs and merchants of violence. Towns and cities became segregated along religious and ethnic boundaries. The mutual trust between communities broke down completely Fulanis are largely smallholder herdsmen while southern Kaduna tribes are smallholder farming communities

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

Restoration of mutual trust is the most critical bridge. The small holder herder and farmer communities necessarily carry out their activities in remote and distant areas, often as individuals. The existing trust enables both parties to carry out their farming activities without hindrance and without fear. Since the killings, such freedom has been severely curtailed. This has led to abandonment of farmlands and grazing areas leading to severe food shortages for these communities.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

Freedom to engage in the traditional smallholder farming and herding needs to be restored, and quickly too. Smallholder farming and herding are largely isolated activities which had thrived before the advent of partisan politics. These agricultural activities also hold the potentials for profitable engagement of the unemployed in these communities. This freedom leads to joy, hope and dignity for the communities. A situation in which once-friendly neighbours are regarded with suspicion and dread is taking its toll on all the communities affected. Unresolved cases of reprisal killings has fuelled mutual suspicion and desire for vengeance. If the older generations have difficulties with the concept of forgiveness and moving on, the younger generations are more amenable to such suggestions and empowerment.

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

It has been difficult for both the farmers and herders to access some ongoing agricultural initiatives that targets smallholder farmers and herders. As the mutual trust between both communities becomes strengthened, these initiatives will have easier access and acceptance. The initiatives sometimes require collaboration between the farmers and herders. As the freedom to operate their respective agricultural practice becomes more accepted, more youths will get involved and the high levels of unemployment will begin to be addressed. A database of the smallholder farming and herding activity will have a baseline for tracking the increases in these activities

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

This idea provides a lifeline to the internally displaced persons and their host communities. The receiving communities are not always disposed to acceptance of the returnees. The traditional and community leaders sometimes require state intervention to ensure the safety and security of returnees. It is important for the returnees and their host communities to revert to the freedom of movement they both enjoyed before the crisis, and which is so crucial for the sustaining and development of their agricultural activities. The urban-based political and religious elites are no longer as vocal and visible as they used to be because the election season is past. The present moment therefore provides a window of opportunity to promote mutual acceptance and trust between the herders and farmers. When the focus of promoting mutual respect and freedom shifted to the youths, it becomes easier to engage the entire communities and helps to break

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

The communities of Ninte, Jagindi, Gindin Dutse and UngwaAnjo of Jagindi District in Jema’a Local Government area of Kaduna State – Nigeria were deserted as a result of attacks that led to high levels of death and destruction of properties. These communities comprises a mix of Fulani and other tribes and also has households belonging to the two major religions of Christianity and Islam. Fantsuam Foundation has been engaged in providing humanitarian assistance for all the residents of these communities as they try to re-establish their various trades. The chief has instituted regular monthly parley of the various community and youth leaders as a confidence-building measure. It was at these meetings that the communities expressed the hope that their youths will be brought on board to promote mutual respect and freedom in the area. However, mobilising the resources to promote collaborative youth activities remains a major challenge

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

We had a fortuitous community entry point in the person of the District Head. As an ex-Police officer, he was able to understand the various dimensions of the crisis in his district and he was open to new ideas on how to enhance peaceful coexistence. Through his leadership it has become easier to reach out to aggrieved communities and institute preliminary awareness raising among the youths of these communities. Our team has also been proactive in promoting the budding peace in these communities to external investors who had relocated in the heat of the civic disturbances

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

The key stakeholders are the chief and his council of elders. The other critical stakeholders are the youths, all tribal leaders, the sports and education ministry and Nigerian Government agencies that are responsible for promoting investments for smallholder herders and farmers.

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Returning home

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Service: A new or enhanced service that creates value for end beneficiaries

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Prototype: We have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing the idea.

Group or Organization Name

Fantsuam Foundation

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

At the height of the 2011 crisis in Kafanchan, Fantsuam Foundation was the only civil society organization that remained open to receive fleeing and wounded persons. We immediately transformed into a humanitarian organization providing housing, feeding and medical care for internally displaced persons. Since then we have engaged in home reconstruction for households that were badly affected by the crisis, as part of our peace building activities. In addition to building apartments, we have gone into building a new school for one of the communities. Our Mission of eliminating poverty and disadvantage through integrated development projects has giving us the flexibility to react to the most pressing development and security challenges of our host communities.

Website URL:

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country

Fantsuam Foundation, Nigeria

Organization Headquarters: City / State

1 Fantsuam Close, BayanLoco, Kafanchan. Kaduna State


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Photo of John Dada

ON BEHALF OF JAMES SARKI: The Fantswam Foundation submission echoes loudly the tragic setbacks for disadvantaged communities gasping on the wheels of regeneration. The affected communities have enjoyed a long history of harmony and peaceful coexistence premised on mutual trust.
Prio to the violent eruptions and massive displacements, the people's entrenched economic practices have remained essentially symbiotic , with diverse opportunities for a prosperous future. But the current ugly existential curve points to agonizing gaps exerxabated by failures in diversity management. Similar to other conflict zones especially in Central Nigeria, the intractable fault lines are rooted in identity crises, religion and ethnicity.
In the history of it's existence, this is the fist time ever, the entire population has been wrecked by such appalling human catastrophe. Palpable fear and distrust now pervades the settlements. Sporadic attacks, ruthless pillage, rape and maiming persist. And this in turn is stiffling subsistence economic activities, especially farming.
In all dimensions, the overall situation presents a horrendous humanitarian crises desiring urgent interventions. The terrain is sinking deeper into senseless cycles of vengefu cravings, with hurting victims' relations or groups looking undeterred in the absence of strategic healing process.
It is indeed a painful irony to observe that the discontent and undercurrents of the nation's political struggles have inadvertently instutionalised governance deficit. Regrettably in our clime, religion and ethnicity have been so manipulated, and now being deployed as portent weapons of mass destruction!
Suddenly, the wild wind of toxic politics has usharred in divisions fast bedeviling the hitherto peaceful Southern Kaduna enclave. Years of deprivation and resentment, coupled with youth unemployment now find expressions in mutual distrust, hate, violent conflict and its attedant dislocations.
The Professor John Dada's proposition stands out as profound innovation such that would catalize reconciliation, reintegration, freedom; sustain peaceful coexistence as well as reactivate productive energies for enhanced livelihoods. The vast human and natural endowments that is the pride of the communities would be leveraged to accelerate sustainable development going forward.
The submission is a worthy and timely intervention that seeks to rebuild broken bridges, without which the communities might descend further into the dreadful league of ungoverned spaces.....James Sarki

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