In February 2017, the Interfaith Dialogue on Violent Extremism (iDove) pilot project was co-launched by the African Union Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (AUC-CIDO) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to highlight the importance of the soft power of religion in the field of preventing violent extremism (PVE) through innovative youth-led approaches.
August 15, 2018 to September 03, 2018
iDove is based on the assumption that violent extremism is a global issue. Whether it has political, ideological, or religious backgrounds, the problem of youth radicalization affects African as well as European societies in the same way. Security interventions addressing the problem are only effective to a certain extent and come at a high cost both financially and in human lives. Thus, PVE requires a comprehensive “soft power” approach that focuses on the root causes rather than on the symptoms of violent extremism. Sports, arts, cultural events and activities offer effective tools of dealing with differences within a community. Innovative approaches in these areas foster mutual understanding and support cooperation between different social and religious groups.
The first phase of iDove commenced with an Intercontinental Youth Forum, which hosted 40 young leaders in PVE, activists, policy makers, scholars, creatives and disengaged individuals. The forum provided a platform for sharing experiences, ideas and knowledge on constructive strategies for PVE. The rich discussions shed light on the different types of radical ideologies (political, identity-based and religious) and provided insights into the deep-rooted beliefs and ideologies of extremist groups through the narrative of disengaged individual’s real-life experiences. The forum led to a diverse range of unique local initiatives, including four small-scale projects, which were selected and given financial support. The projects cover communication, virtual and community initiatives, such as media training, capacity building, arts and sports, and are currently being implemented in Mali, Kenya, Cameroon, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
What do we want to do this time?
The second Intercontinental Youth Forum will again focus on the occurrence of violent extremism among youth in Africa and Europe. This time around however, special attention will be paid to ungoverned spaces, such as border regions and marginalized areas, where youth are particularly vulnerable to recruitment by extremist groups. The Sahel Sahara Border Region, the Lake Chad Basin and the Horn of Africa are prime examples of border regions that have experienced marginalization and significant neglect due to the absence of effective state control, which led to the spread of violent extremist networks. Moreover, when considering the geographical distribution of racial sentiments and right-wing extremism on the European continent, it can be observed that these are frequently concentrated in rural and marginalized areas. Therefore, understanding the interplay between political and economic grievances, social exclusion and hinterland neglect, and how these feature in youth extremism in border regions and marginalized areas will be the prime objective of this year’s Youth Forum.
What do you need to do?
This call asks all creatives, academics, policy makers, and community workers to think outside the box and submit creative applications incorporating the following elements:
1. A brief description of your professional background and current work and why you have chosen to apply to this forum.
2. Describe your previous experience in PVE initiatives in your respective communities (Experience in border regions and marginalized communities is an asset.)
3. How do you think you can contribute to this forum?
4. What skills and knowledge do you hope to gain from this forum and how will you translate these into practical activities in your country/region?
We encourage you to be innovative with your submissions and include visuals, story lines, comic strips, videos, graphic designs etc. Please include a copy of your CV with your application. The top 10 most innovative submissions will be featured on our YouTube and Facebook pages.
Who can apply?
Applicants must be between the ages of 18-35
Citizen or resident of a European or an African country
Fluent in either English or French
Proven interest and experience in interfaith dialogue, preventing violent extremism, building social cohesion, and a specific background in border and marginalized communities, as evident from having:
o Developed projects related to this topic
o Participated in projects related to this topic
o Conducted formal research on this topic
o Participated in workshops, conferences, etc., related to this topic.
Applications must be submitted by midnight EAT September 3, 2018. Please submit your applications to email@example.com copying firstname.lastname@example.org. Successful applications will be notified in the second week of September.
We look forward to receiving your applications!