Ori Ogbu (YES '14) decided to host an Interfaith and Intercultural Workshop in her community of Benue State, Nigeria after experiencing the diversity in America while studying as an exchange student through the YES Program.
Nigeria has two major religions: Christianity and Islam. With the increase of disunity amongst Nigerians after recent terrorist attacks, Ogbu saw an opportunity bring people together from a wide variety of backgrounds.
“I grew up in a predominately Christian community, but had Muslim neighbors and friends, so I know that terrorism is not associated with a particular religion,” said Ogbu.
Ogbu developed her workshop after being selected to represent Nigeria’s YES Alumni Association at the YES Interfaith Harmony Workshop in Morocco in March 2016.
“With all the knowledge I got from the workshop,” said Ogbu, “I knew I had to put it into action.”
Ogbu organized a one-day workshop for secondary school students in her community because she views students as the future of Nigeria and believes that a movement for change will begin with the youth in her community. The workshop was sponsored by the American Council.
During the workshop, participants discussed problems faced in Nigeria and watched the movie ‘Ben Hur,’ to learn lessons about intercultural and interreligious issues.
Ogbu’s goal is to host another Interfaith and Intercultural Workshop in 2018 an incorporate testimony from previous participants to share about the impacts they have seen in their own lives.