PROJECT COMMON BOND
In collaboration with Tuesday’s Children New York, teenage girls who are victims of violent conflicts attend an annual trauma healing and reconciliation program in the United States tagged “Project Common Bond”. Under the plat form of wowwi, a number of the victims from Nigeria have had the rare privilege of attending the “Project Common Bond” sessions in New York. Eight girls so far (4 Muslims and 4 Christians) have attended the training.
MERCY CHUWANG is a twenty year old survivor of the Dogon Nahawa genocide in Plateau State. This strong and courageous girl was attacked by Fulani herdsmen along with her family. She lost her mother, brother and sister and was badly macheted. As a result, she is unable to use her right hand effectively from wounds she incurred while trying to protect herself with her hands. She had to drop out of school since she can no more hold a pen. She has had several surgeries and was a sad and withdrawn girl until she attended the Project common Bond. Mercy says “PCB 2012 USA gave me the opportunity to interact and share with young people like me who have lost loved ones through extreme violence, I also participated in trauma healing sessions. I was very sad and withdrawn but now I can talk and even laugh with others again”. I want to thank WOWWI for being God’s angels to me”. Mercy received funding aid through Wowwi to obtain computer education as she has always desired to have a formal education. Wowwi also found
HABIBA ABUBAKAR, a young lady who had lost her father in extreme violence. She like her friend and sister Mercy became the first Nigerian participants at PCB USA 2012 under the umbrella of WOWWI. This enthusiastic eighteen year old lives in Nassarawa Gwong Jos, she is the last and only girl of ten children, her father had always been her hero she said. On this fateful day he went to his business place at the Bukuru market and never came back. He was killed in cold blood during the 2010 Jos/Bukuru religious crisis. This was devastating for young Habiba. WOWWI once again availed Habiba the opportunity to travel to USA for PCB 2012, this was a major turnaround in the young life. Habiba: “I feel like a new person” as a result of the program .Habiba budded before our very eyes. She is very active in WOWWI peace building activities and is now in a higher institution in Nigeria pursuing a degree in Mass communication.
DEBORAH WAKAI, being the youngest participant we have taken to USA for PCB, is from Chibok, Borno state. She lost her father and only brother in a horrible cruel way, murdered by the Boko haram terrorists. They were murdered right in her presence and her father’s corpse was tied on her back for three days. This traumatic event did great harm to her at the tender age of 14. She became quite withdrawn and demo phobic. She also was given an opportunity by WOWWI to participate in PCB 2013 in the USA, she benefitted tremendously from the trauma healing and many other peace building activities at the program, she eventually got a scholarship from a school in the USA and is presently in the US schooling.
SALMAH KHALID is a very warm and shy girl of 21 years, she lives in Bukuru, Jos. Like her counterparts,Salmah lost her father in one of the ethno-religious crisis in Jos. She also suffered severe burnson her body as her house was set ablaze with her in it and barely escaped with her life. She along with Deborah Peter Wakai were WOWWI’s participants at PCB 2013 in USA. In her usual few words,she expresses gratitude to the organization and says how she is more confident now and doesn’t feel hate anymore towards the people who scarred her for life by setting her ablaze in her home.
HAPPY AYUBA hails from Riyom LGA and lives in Jos. Another benefactor of WOWWI’s benevolence. She participated in PCB 2014 USA. Happy lost her father and mother in the Fulani herdsmen attack in Riyom August 2013, her parents were killed at their farm while at work. Being orphaned at a young age made her pessimistic about life. The trauma healing symposium however did her a lot of good, she says: “I wanted to die along with my parents, life meant nothing to me again but after this trip for PCB in the USA and my involvement with WOWWI I feel I can live and make something out of my life again”.
MADINA BASHIR, another victim of violent extremism lost her father in another religious crisis in Jos. She, like the others,had to go through the traumatic experience of losing a parent. She had a hard time letting go of her pain, but as WOWWI gave her the opportunity to participate in PCB 2014, she met with many others like her, they shared their pains, socialized and went through trauma healing sessions that helped a great deal in healing her emotions. She came back home with a new zest to life after the program.s Ashley Dauda.
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