December 3, 2022

Vanderbilt University in the US is collaborating with two non-governmental organisations, Boys Champions and Hope for African Children, to train 100 teachers in Nigeria.
The training would include best classroom practices and management skills to better support students, especially those with learning and physical disabilities.
The founder of Boys Champions and Hope for African Children, Noel Ifeanyi Alumona, who disclosed this to journalists, said two professors from Vanderbilt University would anchor the programme at the new training centre in Enugu after an international conference tagged, ‘Shaping the Future’, organised by the group on November 25.​
According to him, the training is free for teachers in Nigeria, advising interested teachers to log on to http://www.boyschampions.org/teachers to register.
He explained that the training would improve special education and better support children with disabilities to access education in the country.
Meanwhile, Noel met with Dalai Lama in India recently and shared with him the vision behind the founding of Boys Champions. He related the horrific story of watching his mother killed by hoodlums when he was only nine years old to the Nobel Laureate.
Rather than seek vengeance against the perpetrators, Noel said he toed the peace path and founded the NGO to educate young boys and men to shun violence against women and girls for a better society.
The heroic work of Boys Champions caught the eyes of the world as Noel won the 2022 AFS Award for Young Global Citizens by the United States Institute of Peace and became the first African to win the coveted prize since its inception in 1914.
Every year, the United States Institute of Peace gathers 28 youth leaders from across the globe confronting violence conflict to meet with His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, where he encourages them in their peace-building efforts in their home countries.
This dialogue is a partnership between USIP and the Dalai Lama, a global voice for peace and 1989 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.
Noel joined other young leaders from across the globe for this year’s Generation Change Programme in the pilgrimage of peace to meet his Holiness, Dalai Lama.
“As someone who works to end violence against women and girls in Nigeria by teaching young boys proper behaviors and respect for women, I have been inspired by meeting His Holiness and other change makers from different countries across the world,” said.
Speaking on the gains of the five-day training and dialogue with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, he added: “The whole world is interconnected and we are all facing similar problems. Gender-based violence in Nigeria is gender-based violence in Colombia, climate change and global warming in Uganda is the same in America, and injustice and war in Syria and Libya is the same as it is in South Sudan and Turkey. Thus, we all need to have one mind and treat each other with love while promoting world peace.”
He said networking with other 25 young leaders selected from across the world for the programme was a great and memorable experience. According to him, these incredible young leaders were carefully selected from war-torn countries, from killing fields, unstable governments, from tragic situations and experiences.
“Each of the fellows had an opportunity to share their stories with His Holiness who listened attentively, moved with pity, showed empathy and prayed, too. These stories were all about conflict scenes and experiences – from sexual violence against women and girls, to genocide, to trafficking, to wars, to ethnic cleansing, to fleeing of an entire community from their land,” he explained.
Noel said His Holiness, Dalai Lama was emotional listening to these stories, but as a father, he listened with rapt attention as participants unloaded their bottled sorrows.
His Holiness responded: “Thank you, Noel for sharing these sad experiences with me. There is so much violence and hate in the world already. It gives me hope that from losing your mom to violence, you’re taking actions through Boys Champions to ensure that more women do not fall victims. This is why compassion and education of the heart is important for humanity. We all need to be compassionate and ensure that we forgive those who hurt us so that the world can have peace.”
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