Source: Peacemaker360 /Maija Jespersen.
At 17, Daniel Nwaeze was no stranger to riots, ethnic fighting, and street shoot-outs in his area of Nigeria, but when someone fired a gun right next to Daniel’s head he decided it was time to do something. He developed the idea of turning people’s real stories of resilience and activism into media content to challenge Boko Haram’s narrative and recruitment campaigns.
Daniel started Diplomacy Opportunities, setting up a community of young people interested in peacebuilding, media literacy, and youth development. Now, the project connects members to internships, conferences, fellowships, and other opportunities.
“More recently, we started Development Ambassadors, a section where we profile young people in our community, and #ShapeNarratives to tell and rewrite the narratives involved in building peace and preventing and countering violent extremism,” Daniel said.
Daniel’s organization now has over 17k followers on FaceBook and he recently joined the Afrika Youth Movement as chair of media and communications, bringing out young people’s voices in places like Cameroon, Uganda, Gabon, and the DRC.
“We try to tell the youth narratives of Africans in Africa by Africans from the youth lens about their resilience and activities towards peaceful coexistence and development” Daniel said.
“Our most popular campaign, #AfricaSmile, connects youth on the continent to stand for peace and build friendship,” he said.
“… ISIS/Daesh and Boko Haram are effectively using the media space to recruit young people, incite violence, and promote propaganda. The fact that there is more to be done to shrink the space for violent groups and build sustainable peace keeps me up and ever-passionate.”