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The Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) staff participates in Regional training to address Violent Extremism in Nairobi Kenya

Many young people, including children have been recruited into militant groups; these children experience violence and undergo untold misery. To address violent extremism, GNRC Secretariat staff, Abdul Alawi and Stacy Ndung’u from the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) in Kenya participated in a training programme for the NGO’s on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) on the 28th of June at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC). Radicalisation into supporting violentextremism is often fed by local disaffection and disconnectionbeingdeliberatelyinterpretedthrough globalisedideologiesandoperationalizedbygroupswhose ambitionsare often at odds withtheaims of localcommunities.

The Global Network of Religions for Children Secretary General, Dr. Mustafa Y. Ali also participated in the Regional Conference on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) in Nairobi Kenya at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) from the 25th to 27th June 2015. Theeventwasafollow-upoftheWhiteHouseSummit toCounterViolentExtremismheldinFebruary2015.

Theconference brought together senior officials, religious leaders, leading experts, civil society and private sector leadership aimed at deepening the understandingof violent extremismin Africa,interrogatethe various forms and driversof violent extremisms, and how thesedovetail into regionalandglobalterroristcampaigns.Italsoexploredhowactors– bothgovernmentalandnon-governmentalfromthelocal tothenational, regionalandinternationallevels–canworktogethereffectivelytocounter violent extremism.

At the end of the conference participants shared on how they have benefited and ways in which they would go back to their various organizations and countries and implement programs and projects that will help counter violent extremism.

Itisa matterofurgent interestforcommunitiesandtheir leadershiptopreventorstampout the appeal and networks of violent extremism. The GNRC is very involved and committed to the work that helps build a better world for children and youth as well as a peaceful environment that protects them and their caregivers, through the training those in attendance will initiate the process of mobilizing various stakeholders and organizations that have the same interest in addressing violent extremism issues. ‘Soft power’ approaches, which can be described as “community based, locally focused problem solving,” and are particularly, invitingto the efforts and capabilities of NGO’sand CBO’s can be adopted. The effectiveness ofthese non-governmentalgroups in CVE programming, andtheircooperationandcollaborationwithstates,isacriticalcomponent in defeating the appealand legitimacyof violent extremismin local communities.