Cardinal Onaiyekan Foundation for Peace (COFP) began the long awaited COFP Fellowship Program at last, the first of its kind in Nigeria and West Africa. The purpose of embarking on a Fellowship Program by the Foundation is to effectively empower religious men, women and youth with skills on dialogue negotiation and mediation. Advancing peacebuilding efforts through this process will build the capacities of grassroots leaders as actors in social cohesion, integration and peacebuilding. COFP Foundation believes that faith communities are best positioned to tackle issues of violent religious extremism as well as build relations.
As a way of introduction, the COFP Fellowship Program is a one-year program that is subdivided into three components or modules. Through this Fellowship Program, the Foundation brings together annually 30-35 key religious leaders continuously for the next three years (2018-2021) to explore cross cultural and religious dialogue and understanding, develop and improve their capacities in interreligious dialogue and mediation. Becoming a COFP Fellow requires that Fellows will emerge from the 90-hour Interreligious Dialogue and Mediation Certificate Program course prepared to advance peacebuilding in their communities.
Fellows will receive certificate in “Interreligious Dialogue and Mediation” at the end of each Fellowship Program. the COFP Fellowship Program will serve as space for carefully reflecting and examining peacebuilding experiences through conflict resolution, dialogue, mediation and reconciliation as essential elements in building sustainable peace and resilience. With funding support from the GHR Foundation, the COFP is committed to using this platform as an avenue for providing informative, interactive, educational and networking opportunities for Fellows of different backgrounds in Nigeria.
COFP is collaborating with diverse partners and stakeholders in the implementation of this program. The key primary partners are the Catholic University of Nigeria Abuja -VUNA, Tony Blair Institute -TBI, Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution -IPCR, Islamic Education Trust – IET among others.