By Andrew Ndhlovu
In a move that is aimed at ending cultural and religious related cases of violence and conflicts in the volatile Chinsapo Township in Lilongwe, Wildlife and Natural Resources Conversation and Rehabilitation Trust (WNRCRT) in conjunction with United Religious Initiative (URI), Lilongwe Cooperation Circle, and Chinsapo Youth Network recently organized an Interfaith youth peace building and co-existent event to help counter the vice.
The function brought together youth from different cultural and religious backgrounds showcasing their talents to preach the messages of peace, tolerance and coexistence.
The theme for the event was “utilizing the youth talents to end religiously motivated actions of violence and conflicts.’’
Speaking during the Event, WNRCRT Programs Coordinator Alexander Zenasi said the initiative seeks to help change the mindset among the youth who are mostly used as agents of violence to becoming responsible citizens in their communities.
“We thought of bringing together different young people from the tribes of Chewa, Ngoni, Yao, Lomwe, and Tumbuka among many, giving them a platform to showcase their artistic cultural performances centered on the key message of peace, tolerances and co-existence.
“As you may know that Chinsapo is one of the areas where cases of socio-cultural and religious conflicts mostly involving the youth have been a challenge, we would like to take a holistic approach to end the vice by engaging the young peace as key agents of peace, ” Zenasi said.
Group Village Headman Naison, who was also the guest of honor appreciated WNRCRT and URI for the intervention hoping that it would help end cultural and religious related cases of violence and conflicts in the area.
“I am thankful to the organizations for this remarkable event today which has brought Christians, Muslims, Rastafarians and Traditionalists together promoting peace and unity regardless of our social and cultural differences.
“We need love among us, we are all one and lets join hands to civic educate our children in both communities and schools about the significance of living together in peace and harmony, therefore we ask URI and other concerned stakeholders to bring us a stable project that addresses these issues in our area” GVH Naison said.
In his remarks United Religious Initiative (URI) National Coordinator for Malawi Geofrey Manasseh said bringing together youth to showcase their different traditional dances, drama and poetry will help in ending actions of conflicts and violence in the area.
He further said that peace and unity are key to promoting socio-economic development of the country.
“We need to be having events like these for different people to share knowledge, skills and experiences to promote peace and understanding among them, ” Manasseh said.
Commenting on the development one of the youth member in the area Gloria Makhonje from Lomwe culture said she has learnt a lot from the performances displayed during the day, on how she can co-exist with fellow youth from different faith and cultural backgrounds.
She appealed for more interventions of this nature in the community for peace to prevail.
The project is being carried out with financial support from United Religious Initiatives (URI) Seed Grant Initiative, a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world.