Stella Francis has a B.S.C in economics and is the Co-Chair of the Abuja Interfaith Youth Network in Abuja Nigeria where she previously served as an administrative officer. She also volunteers with Human Resource Working Partners (NGO) partnering with WINConference. She has also been a leader within the Catholic Youth Organization of Nigeria since 2011.
Stella has witnessed numerous conflicts where religion has been wrongly used to incite conflicts and crises against groups and individuals around the world. Because of the sad use of religion that she has witnessed, Stella is highly motivated and is inspired to be involved in activities of interreligious dialogue so that she will help in shaping human minds in the right direction.
Stella has worked to emphasise the fact that religion preaches the message of peace, reconciliation, love and unity across different religions and is supposed to empower the human person so that they will be gainfully employed and actualise their destinies as decreed by God and promote peaceful co-existence. She has been working since 2011 in the Abuja Interfaith Youth Network and has helped to organize a national conference that brought over 200 young Christians and Muslims from all over Nigeria to create awareness about the importance of harmonious living in Nigeria and across the world. This conference also involved some medical programmes that helped internally displaced persons of Nigeria. Finally, she has organized many other programmes that have had tremendous impacts on people in both rural and urban areas. One of her programmes was the United Nations’ International Youth Day celebrated at the National Universities Commission, Maitama in Abuja, in 2015 in collaboration with the Catholic Youth Organization Maitama.
Stella is passionate about humanitarian service, dialogue with people of other religions and teamwork for the good of the human person.
Interreligious Activities and Initiatives
Training of Student Leaders of Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs) of various Tertiary Institutions on Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue Techniques
The project is designed to enhance the capacity of Young Student Leaders of Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs) in Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education in Nigeria on interfaith and intercultural dialogue techniques. The three (3) Days capacity building workshop is aimed at providing an avenue for networking, trust and confidence building among young leaders of the Christian and Muslim faithful in Nigerian Higher Institutions of learning. The project will also allow for Tree Planting exercise that could avail some selected children an opportunity to participate in tree planting exercise alongside other participants
IRD Workshop for Civil Actors from selected Civil Service Agencies in Nigeria
The target participants of this initiative are civil actors serving in selected agencies in the civil sector. The initiative is a two-day program with the first day being a workshop on the topic “Tolerance and Finding a Common Ground among Different Faith Practitioners towards National Development”. And a storytelling and discussion session where participants will discuss on how religion has played out interfered in their workplace and in dispensing their duties. This will be carried out under the Chatham house rule. The program will end on the second day with a lecture from religious leaders from Christian and Muslim religion on the place of religion in dispensing civil responsibility for national development.
IRD and ICD for prevention of Hate Speech and protection of Sacred Sites and Cultural Heritage- Role of Youth in India and Nigeria (Joint Initiative)
The initiative will bring together religious and cultural leaders from some selected states in India and Nigeria to create youth alertness towards hate speech and incitation before and during election for both India and Nigeria, engaging in interreligious and intercultural dialogue. The initiative will involve first an onsite interreligious/intercultural dialogue for promoting peace at the national level after which the participants will be engaged in an online interreligious and intercultural dialogue with other religious leaders in India and Nigeria respectively in other to build bridges for promoting global understanding, peace building and adding strength to the efforts being made at national level. The dialogue will target two main objectives; contribute to peace building to safeguard from hate speech and preservation of sacred holy sites. This initiative will prove how youth from two different socio-cultural backgrounds needs to be activated to solve the global crisis with similar nature. These activities will be followed by strategic promotion on social media to reach and influence a larger audience.