Mentoring boys and girls to be peacemakers: Meet Kaltumi Abdulazeez, Nigeria.

Leaders are usually victim of a purpose. In my own case, my journey as a peace maker started within my family and neighbourhood. Whenever there is a dispute amongst my family members i try the very best i can to make both sides see reasons why they need to understand and tolerate their differences.  The moment I took the bold step to take responsibility in making the little change i can was my encounter with women and children whom were displaced, traumatised and psychologically dehumanized due to the insurgency attack in the north eastern part of Nigeria. Their story was heart breaking and thus there was need for a re-awakening hope for these victims. This was where my journey began in serving humanity

Could take us through a day of your work? Where do you put most of your time and energy?

Most of my time and energy is spent on mentoring girls/boys through career decision making and having a peaceful coexistence amongst friends, family, and neighbours. There are many girls out there seeking for support and attention, someone to share their problems with and possibly to ease their pain and confusion.

What are your key achievements in your work?

My achievements so far are not enormous, but i can proudly say that i have left behind a legacy in the community i have worked that impacted and change lives.  I was able to execute projects singlehandedly even when nobody believed it will come to reality.

How does your organization promote inclusive participation of youth from diverse backgrounds?

My organization has a complete team of five from different culture and religion and guess what! It made us stronger and yield better results.  We have form a bond of brother and sisterhood which made the organization what it is today against all odds.

What has been your hardest struggle so far, and how did you get over it?

Life generally is a struggle on its own. But it will have been easier if we loved each other irrespective of tribe, race, or religion. Tribalism is a great challenge but with patience and passion for the work we do, we have been able to overcome that through sincere commitment.

What is the biggest challenge you currently face?

The biggest challenge is ‘’it must all be me syndrome’’. There is too much competition, everyone wants to go fast alone. I believe in the power of togetherness and to reinforce collaboration if really youths wants to go far and fast in making this change we all seek.

What has been your biggest surprise on this journey so far?

My biggest surprise so far is not much of a shock, i grew up having in mind to always expect the unexpected. But i must confess the fact that the journey of success is not an easy one, immorality is celebrated while the most important issues are ignored.

What keeps you going and give you inspiration in your work? What gives you hope?

Nothing gives me more joy than being a reason someone smile. I have pictured how i want to bring peace, love and happiness in the faces on the less privileged, i shall continue to follow that dream till i achieve it to the fullest.

If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?

You are a fighter, do not be afraid to try and fail for every successful person has a story to tell. Never give up.

What words of encouragement would you give to women, children, minorities, and other dis-empowered groups when they are facing rejection because of the prevailing cultural norm?

Love yourself and never feel intimidated, nobody was created perfect or free of problems, there are always one or two things bugging our minds. We were created equal but what makes us different is finding your innermost ability and putting it to practice, be confident in what you believe and chase your dreams till you achieve it. Seek for new knowledge on daily basis.

How can people interested to connect you reach you?( email, blog, website, linkedIn etc).

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