This project, initiated by the Anglican Diocese of Jos, aims to build peace by bringing together members of the Christian and Muslim communities for a broad range of activities, including skill sharing, training, sporting competitions and the generation of small businesses.
The city of Jos has been wracked by inter-communal violence for a number of years. Outbreaks of fighting in 2008 and 2010-12 killed thousands of people and led to a dramatic deterioration in relations between Christian and Muslim communities. Both communities are also severely affected by poverty and a lack of opportunity for education and employment.
This project is located in Mai Adiko, Rayfield, a neighbourhood in Jos that suffered heavily from the violence. It provides teaching, equipment, meeting space and loans to women and young people, enabling them to generate income. Educational activities, including computer and literacy classes, are also provided to young people.
Crucially, the project provides a space for members of the Christian and Muslim communities to meet and work together. Canon Hassan John, who coordinates the project, says,
“In the last year we have been able to bring Muslims and Christians together in an unprecedented way. They eat together and visit one another in the Rayfield community.
The peaceful and mutual respect for one another is exemplary. Their working together every week has created a platform for interaction and understanding which has eroded most of the animosity previously existing between the Christian and Muslim groups.”
HART visited the project whilst in Jos and were able to see its impact first-hand. One of the women from the Muslim community said,
“I thank God for the opportunity that has come – both Muslims and Christians talking together, sitting together, and working together all the time. It has removed the anxieties.”
Together with HART-US, in 2015 we secured funding for the project from the Anglican Relief and Development Fund (ARDF).