The Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security, a global leader in preventing the recruitment and use of children in armed violence, has invited two members of Nigeria’s security forces to participate in its first regional lead trainers course on child protection.
The course will run from September 25 to 29, 2023.
A chartered mediator and a disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration expert at the Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre, Maj. Edwin Okpala (rtd), and Capt. Grace Watirahyel Samuel, will join other members of the armed forces, police, and civil society groups from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, South Sudan, and Uganda for five days of theoretical training and scenario-based simulation in Rwanda.
Organised through the Dallaire Institute’s Africa Centre of Excellence, the course, which is specifically for previously trained facilitators, will be delivered by the lead facilitator, Maj. Musa Donald Gbow, the first protection advisor in an African Union peacekeeping mission and a master trainer for the Dallaire Institute.
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The Executive Director of the Dallaire Institute, Dr Shelly Whitman, in a statement made available to The Star on Wednesday, September 20, 2023, disclosed that the course will bring participants up to speed on best practices in preventing the recruitment and use of children while enhancing their ability to independently lead Dallaire Institute courses across the continent.
Whitman said: “The Dallaire Institute believes in the importance of collaboration that leads to long-term systemic change to place children at the heart of peace and security.
“The lead trainers’ course will bring together our champions for change from military and police institutions across the African continent, so they can support and learn from each other on how to prevent the recruitment and use of children and we as the Dallaire Institute can continue to learn from their lived experiences to ensure our approaches are effective.”
According to the statement, Dallaire Institute has worked with the Nigerian military, police, and civil society groups since 2017.
In 2021, as part of collaborative efforts, it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Martin Luther Agwai Leadership and International Peacekeeping Centre (MLALIPKC) and the African Peace Support Training Association (APSTA) to support capacity-building activities.
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