Onoseme Fortune Afatakpa
Onoseme Fortune Afatakpa holds a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and a Master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Ibadan. Currently he is a doctoral student of Peace and Conflict Studies also in the University of Ibadan. His research focuses on the Management of Sectarian Conflicts in Igbe Religion. His interest in interreligious dialogue was stirred when a Muslim adherent named Abubakar Haruna bailed him out an embarrassing situation in the year 1989. That singular action changed his mentality towards Muslims and prompted him to engage in the study of religions. Fortune believes that the major cause of religious violence, intolerance and fundamentalism is not unconnected with socialization strategies of most religions which focus on children and youth. Therefore Fortune has spent a better part of his life working among youth from different religious persuasions and engaging them the inherent dangers in embracing the philosophy of religious particularism. Every year, he organizes the 21st Century Youth Leadership Conference where the capacities of young people between the ages of 10-17 are built in the area of religious tolerance. This is predicated on his long standing philosophy that it better to prepare a child than to prepare a child than to repair an adult.
Interreligious Activities and Initiatives
Catch Them Young
It is better to prepare a child than to repair an adult”. The programme will introduce our teenagers to conflict management techniques to use in their own life and to share with others. The initiative will also introduce the teenagers to interreligious competences. The Catch Them Young Leadership Programme on Conflict Management is also meant to enhance cross-cultural and cross religious opportunities for teenagers in secondary schools to improve their skills at an early juncture on interreligious and intercultural dialogue. Participation in the program affords teenagers an unparalleled opportunity to build networks, voice their generation’s viewpoints, gain a deeper understanding of serious conflicts and issues in Nigeria, learn how experts and leaders deal with these problems, and develop their own perspectives.