Welcoming people of all faiths to sow the seeds of
non-violence and peace
throughout Africa in the Spirit of St Francis of Assisi




19 July 2010













After our meeting at Congo Russia, Gangare community in Jos invited us (DPI) to a sensitisation meeting in their community. Shumsudeen, who is from that community, and have attended some of our programmes, introduced us and explained DPI activities in promoting peace and building good relationships in Jos and environs. He cited examples with Nassarawa, Dadin Kowa, Angwan Rogo, as some of the communities in Jos were DPI activities have taken root.



Maji said he was very happy when he was invited to Gangare community for a sensitisation programme. He added that DPI is ready at all times to honour any invitation in the community, to discuss peace and how to promote good relationships in the community. He said DPI can only reawaken conscience of the people in the community to know that the peace they desire in their community lies in their hands. DPI does not give peace in the community but encourages the community t o b uild the peace they desire by building good relationships.





He asked, “in the past, when our parents lived peacefully together as neighbours was there different Religions?” He cited examples from the Qur’an and the Bible t o b ring out the common values our religions share. He said the reason why people kill each other in the name of religion is because we are not doing what our religions teach ; what we are doing is acting on ignorance and hear says.



Sr. Helena asked the question “what is it that we need to do differently?” and “is there something that we used to do some few years ago that we are not doing today?”





One of the participants, who is a Muslim, shared his experience of a good relationship he had with a Christian friend. They used to lived peacefully in school and at home. He said that his relationship with the friend is more than a blood brother, but after the crisis in Jos, whenever he thinks about it he feels bad because they cannot freely come to each others house again.     





The people lamented on the polarisation of our communities in Jos and asked, “what is the solution?”



Garba, a PACT Enabler, responded that if they want people from other communities to know about them as good and loving community, they must show it. This can be done by creating activities that will bring others to them and by that they will build good relationships with those people.






Maji responded that the solution lies with the communities.



 Sr. Helena added “what would happen to this community if the politicians come and say take money, go and fight, and you said no?”



The people responded nothing will happen; once we chose not to fight nothing will happen in our community. Sr. Helena encouraged them to be clear on their values and live by them.



Sr. Helena said to them building peace is hard work, it requires courage. Someone has to take the first step in building peace. She encouraged them to make the first step to either call their Christian friends or send a text message, saying that will go a long way to promote good relationships.





In respond the people appreciated our coming and said they will go and spread the message, adding that without activities like this, peace cannot be achieve in our communities. Some said we need this kind of opportunity to dialogue together. They all agreed that the crisis we are experiencing in Jos is not religious but religion is used as a means or tool; because those who always cause the crisis know that without using religion they cannot get good support from the people.





Fr. Basil who joined DPI in the visit also shared his experience; when he was coming to the community, there where doubt and fears in his mind considering what he has been hearing about this community. But on arrival, he realised all he heard about the community was not true, they are just rumour.  (Gangare is a predominantly Muslim community and has been link to violence in Jos, many Christians in Jos believe Gangare is a no go area for Christians).



 Fr. Basil encouraged them to know that peace lies in their hands, that they should not wait for government or any body to come from anywhere and give them peace because peace lies in them.  He shared on those things all humans have in common e.g. Eyes, death, hungry, needs etc. This shows that we are all created by one God and are dependent on Him for supply of needs.





The community requested for another meeting with DPI so that they can invite the youth from the community, because the youth forum is a big organisation of youth in that community and want DPI to have time with them. DPI agreed to honour that invitation at any time they invite us.





In conclusion, one of the participants expressed his surprise that he has never thought that any group can come into that community to have a peace dialogue and a way forward, because he has concluded that people in Jos dislike their community.



They suggested practical things they will do t o b uild peace in their community, which include:- Louis Vuitton Outlet



    Awareness programme to say “no to violence.” E.g. seminars, workshop. Etc.



    Taken the first step to invite others or pay a visit to them.



    Making phone call and sending text messages.



The closing prayer was said by Shumsudeen.



33 people were in attendance.





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