The Niger Delta Legacy Engagement aimed to increase the belief among communities in the Niger Delta that a non-violent approach to change can achieve positive development. The Engagement made use of technology and mass media in order to reach a wide audience with its message of peace. The use of these tools was crucial in promoting positive models and telling new, inspirational stories of young people making positive impact on their communities.
The Niger Delta Legacy Engagement worked with both citizens and government representatives. Citizens were educated in ways to avoid conflict and advocacy techniques with which they could engage government. Government representatives were sensitised on their constitutional responsibilities towards citizens to respect their rights and deliver basic services and employment. Too often citizens in the Niger Delta do not have at their disposal effective means to engage their political representatives and ensure their voices are heard and their basic needs are met. That led the majority to lose confidence in politics while the others resorted to violence to express their frustration.
Through radio, TV and news coverage its messages reached a large target audience. The campaign aimed to influence behaviour and shape perspectives by demonstrating that a future without violence is possible, while grassroots mobilisation activities have the potential to achieve this peaceful change.
Over the course of three years, 21 young citizens with a skill for storytelling were trained as film-makers in collaboration with Jeta Amata – a director working in Hollywood with Nigerian roots. The project – titled Dawn in the Creeks served as a platform for the youth to discuss their situation through art and storytelling, and give a message of hope for a brighter, violence–free future for other youths across the Niger Delta.
25 episodes of Dawn in the Creeks – spreading clear messages of non-violent change, were broadcast across Nigeria during 2014/2015. Watch all episodes: