Educating the Youth to Preserve the Traditions of the Ogoni and Mapuche People

Project location: VARIOUS COUNTRIES, NIGERIA and ARGENTINA
Project start date: August 2009 - Project end date: August 2010
Project number: 2009-19
Beneficiary: UNPO

 

Ogoni

Mosop and NYCOP have cooperated with six secondary schools in the region for the Peace and Emancipation Program, to support and strengthen their "Club for human rights" through training of young leaders and implementation of seminars for all club members. The clubs have a very democratic management structure and just before the visit of UNPO elections took place for the new year.
The Peace and Emancipation Program has so far provided a platform for youth to learn basic human rights and the concept of a culture of peace. Mosop and NYCOP are currently in the second phase of this project, namely strengthening the clubs that have been created and the enhancing the capacity of young leaders.
The three Youth Ambassadors were selected shortly before the visit of UNPO. They are aged between sixteen and twenty and have been chosen by the Youth Council (NYCOP), to help in its functions. UNPO has met the three ambassadors, who were grateful to receive this appointment and eager to start their clubs.

The visit to Port Harcourt and Bori (Ogoniland) also provided an opportunity for young people involved in the program Mosop / NYCOP to participate in special seminars taught by UNPO on human rights and international mechanisms for environmental conservation and protection.
By "young" the Ogoni people mean both under the age of 25, or any individual who is not a leader, a king or an elder of a community, regardless of age. Forty "young people" from both groups participated in training seminars, 24 men and 16 women. The youngest participant was 14 years old. Participating students came mainly from three schools, two in Ogoniland and one in Port Harcourt, the administrative capital of Rivers state, located just outside of Ogoniland.

The course topics were:
• Contextualization of human rights;
• Examples of leadership;
• Introduction to protection;
• Creating strategies for protection;
• Human rights mechanisms;
• Introduction to the United Nations system;
• Mitigation of climate change and environmental awareness.

The study methodology included group work, seminars, plenary discussions and questions and answers sessions. UNPO has taken the decision to use only materials that could be available in schools, so no computer or projector.

The composition of the participants in the seminars and the effort made to provide training open to all, have allowed all students to speak at the same level, between the old and young participants. Students saw this as a sign of respect and have much appreciated the way they were treated as equals.
The two-day training workshop organized by the Bori human rights club was opened by the young leader of the club, which has addressed over 200 young students present, gathered in a large classroom. The seminar was about the importance of environmental protection and sustenance by means of the products of the earth and was followed by a question and answer session on topics such as fishing, farming and the supply of oil.
The seminar helped to consolidate the training of Youth Ambassadors on key issues related to the environment, and to give practical information on student club management. Currently, posters and leaflets are being designed by young people for young people, to create a public awareness campaign.


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