Sr. Anne Falola, centre background, with workshop participants. Image courtesy of the Women’s Interfaith Council Facebook page

A ‘train the trainers‘ style workshop for mothers took place in Kaduna, Nigeria from July 26th-29th. Present were 48 women leaders representing 16 Catholic and Muslim faith groups from Kaduna and Katsina. The title of the four day workshop was “WIC Step Down Mothers School for Prevention of Violent Extremism: Reaching Women at Grassroots Level.

According to the Women’s Interfaith Council’s newsletter, the Mother’s School is an initiative that started in Austria. It reports that similar projects elsewhere have yielded very positive results whereby women act as peacebuilders and early warning reporters within a family unit and in the wider community setting.

Topics covered during the workshop included:

  • Me in my community
  • Improved Communication – talking and listening to teenagers
  • Recognizing and reacting to early warning signs of radicalization
  • Peace starts at home

According to a follow-up newsletter on the initiative, the objectives of the WIC workshop was to:

  • Build the capacity of women for their responsibility at home and within society
  • Work together with women of different faith groups to share their common concerns as mothers.
  • With the workshop now complete, the newsletter states that the participants are now ready to facilitate similar workshops on this issue in their home communities.

“With group work, and sharing of experiences, gaining new insights together, the women are now prepared to become facilitators in their various communities.”

Sr. Anne Falola OLA is the Executive Director, Hajia Amina Kazaure is the General Coordinator.

The workshop was funded by the Irish Province of the OLA Sisters. The Women’s Interfaith Council (WIC) was founded by Sr. Kathleen McGarvey, OLA.