Youth encouraged to bring peace in their communities


Twenty young peace builders currently undergoing training on peacebuilding course in Lilongwe have been encouraged instill peace in their communities before they reach out to others.

Drawn from various religious and cultural backgrounds are expected to graduate from United Religious Initiative (URI’s) six-month peace building training aiming at preparing the youth to be peace ambassadors.

From a Catholic faith, peace ambassador, Chikondano Chitowe, 23 hailed the training branding it ‘a timely course’ to turn things around in the country.

“I cannot wait to complete this training as I want to start reaching out to the youth who may fall as victims of political greed.

“Time for the youth to initiate peace is now in our communities and the country at large,” Chitowe said.

Sheikh Ishmael Gadaff Amin said the training has sharpened him on how to co-exist in the society despite having different religious beliefs.

“We are going to be masters of peace on the ground, we now appreciate that to live in a society people have to be tolerant with one another, more specially to avoid the thinking that one religion is important than the other.

“I have personally seen how religious differences can spark violence, recently the issue of hijab wearing in Christian schools was a hot debate, thanks to Public Affairs Committee (PAC) for their intervention that has seen peace prevailing,” he said.

Rasta Patrick Galawanda said the training he underwent in 2020 under the sponsorship of URI and it has helped him being party to PAC’s discussions that resolved sticky issues including the wearing of hijab in Christian schools.

“Muslim female learners now wear hijabs in all schools, this is the true meaning of tolerance and co-existence in our societies, thanks to URI which drilled me in the 2020 cohort of peace building training,” Galawanda alluded.

URI’s Globe Trustee,

Reverend Father John Ng’oma

of Anglican church, said the training progarmme on peace building will go a long way to ease the religious, political and cultural tensions that are registered in the country.

“The aim of the training is to increase numbers of faith leaders with improved knowledge on peace building and have increased number of faith leaders engaged and participating in decision making at local levels to be ambassadors of peace.

“We believe that peace building must start from our small local societies and spill over to national communities,” he said.

URI’s Country Coordinator, Geoffrey Manasseh said religious tolerance, and applying the co-existence philosophy should be a great message to be promoted in various worshipping venues to further reduce conflicts.

“We believe it will change lives from destruction to peace,” he said.

The July to November Youth Building Cohort Training, has drawn twenty youth from various religious and cultural backgrounds across the country to spearhead conflict resolutions through various platforms

The project is being implemented with a funding pool of 2000USD from globe network.