PIN Kano, Nigeria: The social reformer




The acronym PIN stands for Peace Initiative Network. The Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that is non partisan in politics, religion, and charitable in nature,based in the Northern Nigeria State of Kano.

PIN was founded in the year 2004 and it fully committed itself irrevocably to peace — building and development in Nigeria through advocacy, human capacity development, sports, and participatory research.
PIN organizes and hosts periodic seminars, workshop and sports events as strategies to reach its diverse stakeholders in the community as a way of promoting peaceful coexistence.

Peace through sport project, PIN KANO provides sport wares to football teams

The core goal of the Organization is promotion of interaction and transformative dialogue between stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds to help strengthen a peaceful Nigeria; using the efficacy of sport as a platform to develop friendship among young people across diverse ethnic, culture and religion; to improve young people ‘s leadership, problem —solving and critical thinking skills that will aid their ability to become responsible future leaders.

PIN activities are anchored on five thematic areas: advocacy, peace education, sports, governance and research.

Our key projects
Established over fifteen (15) years ago, PIN has remained focus on three areas of activities. Number one area of activity is Peace Club Project, the project was conceived to deliver peace education to young people in schools, and so far we have been able to reach over 8,000 students in over 60 schools in Kano and Plateau states. Under this project PIN has provided school furniture, such as: chairs and desks, sewing machines, computer laptops, cameras and voice recorders.

Number two area of activity is the Peace Through Sports, this project entails creating space for young people using sports as a platform for peace-building. Under this project over 35 football teams in some selected Local Government Areas of: Bagwai, Kura, Minjibir, and those in Kano metropolitan, have been supported with training kits, such as jerseys, footballs, first aid box, stop watches and whistles.

The number three activity is Youth/Women Empowerment was conceived to strengthen community resilience to violence through income generation and peace building activities. Under this programme PIN, in partnership with Peace Direct, a United Kingdom based Not-For-Profit Organization has so far empowered 300 women and project Coordinator Peace Initiative Network PIN KANO, Nigeria, Michael Femi Sodipo youths with functional skills and other forms of employable competencies in conflict areas of northern Nigeria.

The programme was executed in the two conflict prone cities of Kano, in the North West, and Jos, in the North —Central. The bulk of the beneficiaries were provided three- month training in sustainable micro­businesses, such as: Tailoring, Shoe and Bag making, Phone Repairs, Hair Dressing, and Vulcanizing.

At the end of the training programme, each of the beneficiaries were provided with working kits in the area where they were trained. Those who learnt tailoring were provided with sewing and waving machines each, those who major in shoe and bag making were given the required tools for starting a business along that line.

Those taught phone repair, were provided with implements for their trade, and those that acquired hair dressing capability were given hair dryer, head washing basin, and other working tools. While, those who acquired skills
in vulcanizing were also provided working tools and a generator- set each.

In addition, several youths and women, who were idling away, without any means of sustainable income in the two cities were also provided with grinding-machines, for the purpose of generating daily stream of income.

One ofthe success stories ofthe programme, is that the beneficiaries have been empowered and moved away from being a potential hands to be recruited by extremist groups for the purpose of causing conflicts in their communities, to being functional members of their communities.

The impact of the programme is that, the beneficiaries now have basic skills to earn a living, and their peace- building skills sharpened which put them in a position to be an active agent of resistance to conflicts in their communities. As a way of assisting the beneficiaries of the project to sustain their various micro-business, PIN in the year helped over 40 of it trainees to pay for one year shop rents, while, many others were given cash assistance to grow their business. PIN ‘s empowerment programme in tailoring

The Religious Conflict that gave birth to PIN:
What came to be known today as PIN is a product of near death experience of a man in one of several unfortunate ethno-religious conflicts which Kano is known for in the past which he resolved to turn to the common good of humanity.

PIN was given birth to 15 years ago by Dr. Michael Femi Sodipo, a Nigerian of Ogun state extraction, who has come to regard Kano as a home having resided there for the past 34 years, but, whose life was once preserved through the generosity and kindness of one of his Muslim neighbors, when he was about to be killed during one of the ethno-religious conflicts that engulfed his neighborhood.

Sodipo have lived in Kano for 34 years. He came to Kano after graduating from a High School in Ogun state. His story began in 2004, there was a growing tension between Christians and Muslims in Plateau state, and after sometime, the tension began to assume a violence dimension. An Attack was carried out in Shendam/Yelwa, Plateau state. In
Kano, my home, there was a brutal reprisal attack, as a result of the dead bodies brought to the town.

The young people reacted with terrible violence. I am a Christian and as part of the reprisal attack I was almost killed. It was in the middle of the morning, around 10 am. Usually, the streets of the town would have been busy, and people going about their business, buying things, catching up with friends, but that day the whole neighborhood was quiet.

His wife and younger brother were out of the town, so he was alone, he decided to take a walk to see what was going on, and why it was so quiet, on locking his house and stepping out into the street, not before long he suddenly realized he was in a grave danger.

On turning into the corner of the main road leading from his house, he saw about hundred young people with various forms of deadly weapons coming at him, knowing they were trying to kill him because of his faith, he was terrified, and ran to his nearest friend ‘s house who happened to be a Muslim.

From his hiding place, he could see the smoke from the fire set to his house and his car, as the mob destroyed everything he worked for, in a neighborhood he had lived for over 19 years, but still been seen as enemy. The irony of it all was that the people who attacked him because he was Christian were Muslims, but his friend who saved his life was also a Muslim.

It was then that he realized the need to do something positive about his experience, by doing something to prevent similar occurrence in future, which gave birth to the idea of establishing Peace Initiative Network (PIN).

After the attack, he found out that there were other people with similar experience from different backgrounds, north and south, so he started to talk to such people about what they could do something all wanting to build peace. Noting that those who attacked him were young people so he directed his social intervention at giving them a new orientation towards peace building, and empowerment.

Motives behind the projects
All of the PIN projects were motivated primarily by the need to encourage peace­building among Nigerians, as a way of stimulating the attainment of an orderly society which is a fundamental requirement for the growth and development of any nation. PIN is driven by this vision, and all it projects are directed at uniting the various diversity existing within the Nigerian Nation- Muslims, Christians, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, as well as other different communities.

The choice of our projects is borne out of the understanding that the more people interact together constructively through social engagements like work place activity or economic transactions, and sports, the less they are prone to participate in conflict generation activities that can be harmful to themselves or society.

So our number three focal area of activity was embarked on deliberately to provide opportunities for Youths and Women, that are mostly victims of conflicts, particularly, open violence, to learn how to live together peaceful, through been empowered with peace- building skills, as well as other gainful skills for earning means of livelihood, in addition to providing them with working kits/tools.

Peace Club project:

Our Peace Club Project actually started in 2006 as a fall out from the partnership agreement we entered into with the British Council. We started the programme with seven secondary schools in Kano, some of the schools we started with are: Rumfa College, Army Day Girls Secondary, and St. Thomas Secondary School, among others.

Presently, the programme has grown to accommodate over 60 schools with over 8,000 registered members in the various Peace Clubs that we established in Kano and Plateau states. What the project does primarily is to empower the students, and other young Nigerians of different backgrounds with peace building skills and other forms of competencies that will make them become peace agents in their schools and their respective communities.

In implementing, peace through Sport Project, we leveraged on one aspect of our national life which is sports that we know is a source of strong budding among Nigerians.

We have seen that demonstrated whenever Nigerian national team is playing against other countries, during this period Nigerians irrespective of their ethno-religious differences, whether they are Christians, Muslims, Yoruba, Hausa, or other minorities, usually bud together to cheer the country, so we adopted sports as a means of reaching young Nigerians in our peace building initiative knowing the multiple impacts the venture is serving in uniting the people.

We got this idea from the International Peace Camp that we attended in Jordan, in the Middle East which was sponsored by the British Council in 2008.

So far here in Kano, we have provided sporting equipment to about 35 local Football Clubs, which also includes Para-Soccer Clubs. Before, before these materials were presented, members of the benefitting clubs usually undergo peace­building trainings, in which the concept of partnership geared at promoting the culture and value of togetherness are taught, after which each of the clubs is presented with a complete set of jerseys, balls, and other sports equipment.

Contribution to violence free election:
In line with PIN ‘s mandate aimed at assisting Nigeria in developing critical thinking among young ones, in the past fifteen years, we have provided trainings for communities and religious leaders, youth politicians, and other young Nigerians, to encourage avoidance of violence in elections .

We focused, particularly, on communities and religious leaders knowing the fact that religion ordinarily is one of the social tools which when constructively deploy, could be used for societal development, but here in Nigeria, unfortunately, religionis being used to cause conflict and violence in the society.

In order to promote violent free elections, PIN has since2006 been collaborating with some international groups, such as, British Council, DFID, Institute for Democracy in South Africa in organizing Campaigns against Political Violence in Nigeria. Some of this campaign were held across North­West States of Kano, Katsina and Jigawa, Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara respectively.

Prior to the recently conducted election in Nigeria, PIN organized a Two-Day Enlightenment Workshop on Peaceful Election, the event was hosted at the prestigious Bristol Palace Hotel in Kano, and it brought together Community, and Religious Leaders, as well as Young Politicians, another workshop was also organized for Political Thugs known as “Yandaba” and “Yan Jagaliya, who are usually used to perpetual violence during elections, drawn from Kumbotso, one of the metropolitan Local Government Areas in Kano state.

The goal of this workshop was to instill in the minds of the participants the realization that they are the future leaders of their society and the need for them to shun violence by changing their life style and be good ambassador of their various communities.

At the end of the workshop many of the participants were moved away from their entrenched culture of violence, and are nowparticipating in some of skills acquisition programmes floated by PIN in partnership with Peace Direct, learning vocations such as: Carpentry, Tailoring,

Welding/metal work while others are into small scale buying and selling.
The cheering news about this programme is that since the campaign conducted, a lot has been achieved, this was seen in the recently conducted election in the LGA which end without a single violence recorded, as against what was obtainable in the past. Going forward PIN is suggesting that for Government to adopt the strategy of working directly with community leaders at the grassroots as well as deepening empowerment programmes to the youths, as a way of tackling political thuggery in the society.

Performance evaluation:
One of the things PIN takes seriously is evaluation of its programmes and projects, we place emphasis on this because this is the only way we know either our organization is justifying itself existence of making useful contributions to the society or not.

In evaluating what we do, we constantly organized evaluation meeting to generate feed backs from our participants and key stakeholders. Also on time to time basis, we do engage External Monitoring and Evaluation Experts to go through what we have done or doing in form of examining our records, meet beneficiaries of our programmes, external consultants, as well as our staff, to help us come to term with the performance of each of our programmes, and our organization as a whole for learning.

Comments from real people about our projects
Below is a brief on what some of the beneficiaries of our Youth/Women Empowerment programme are saying about the project: Mrs. Asiya Aminu, 27 years and a mother of two, who is one of the beneficiaries of the programme from Naibawa Community in Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano, said:

“I was idling away before my husband ‘s brother introduced the PIN/Peace Direct sponsored Tailoring training programme to me. I enrolled in the programme, and were taught basic tailoring skills, and at the end of the programme was provided a Sewing, and Weaving Machine, and other tailoring tools required to start myown business”

“Through the skills acquired I am now able to make and repair dress not only for myself, but for my family, and other members of my community. Practicing the tailoring skills has help me have a means of earning daily income, as well as help save money which I ordinarily used to pay to Tailors for making dresses for me and my family”.

According to, Maryam Hassan, 42 years, widow and mother of two, another beneficiary of the tailoring programme, who resides in Bawo, in Hausawa Community in Tarauni Local Government Area of Kano state recounted:

“My sister ‘s husband told me about the PIN/ Peace Direct sponsored Tailoring Programme, and I enrolled in the programme conducted at the Gyadi-Gyadi Women Training Centre. Through the training I was able to upgrade my tailoring skills, which put me in a position to make modern dresses”

“I first learnt how to sew 10 years, but unable to practice the trade because I do not have sewing machine, today I am grateful to PIN and Peace Direct, I now have a sewing machine of my own, as well as other tailoring tools. With these tools I have started earning income from making children dresses for sell in my community.

“My plan is to expand the business because I discovered that there are demands for children dress in our community. The programme has been very helpful to me and my children, through the earnings from business I can now pay my children school fee. I am also in a position now to help other people in my community”.

In the same vein, Amina Iliyasu, 55 years, a housewife with 7 children, who is also a beneficiary of the Tailoring Programme from Ungwan Mallami in Sheka community in Kumbotso Council area of Kano state captures her experience this way:

“I was introduced to the PIN/ Peace Direct sponsored tailoring programme by my neighbor who heard about the programme. I thank God that I participated, at the end of the programme I was given a sewing and weaving machine, and other sewing tools free by the organizer.

“The skills I gained from participating in the programme has help me to become a tailor, but now I can’t use the sewing machine because of my poor health, but my daughter is using it, and making money with it.

“My plan for the future is to open a tailoring business with the tools, but my major constraint in doing this, is that I do not have money to rent a shop, I also require working capital. I will be glad if PIN can assisted me”.
Similarly, Fatima Bala, 32 years, a mother of four children, one of the beneficiaries provided with Hair Dressing kits says the gesture has tremendously transformed her business, as her daily income from the business has grown as a result of deploying the Kits.

“I was introduced to the programme by my friend. Through my participation Hair Dressing kits were given to me. Before I was given the Kits, if customers come they have to wait because I don’t have enough working tools, but that is no longer the case, as the equipment given to me has enable me to attend to more customers.

“With more equipment to work, I have engaged two Apprentices that I am training as part of my contribution to the development of my community. Without the support that I received from PIN/Peace Direct it will have been difficult for me to grow my business”.

Comments from real people about our projects

Below is a brief on what some of the beneficiaries of our Youth/Women Empowerment programme are saying about the project: Mrs. Asiya Aminu, 27 years and a mother of two, who is one of the beneficiaries of the programme from Naibawa Community in Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano, said:

“I was idling away before my husband ‘s brother introduced the PIN/Peace Direct sponsored Tailoring training programme to me. I enrolled in the programme, and were taught basic tailoring skills, and at the end of the programme was provided a Sewing, and Weaving Machine, and other tailoring tools required to start myown business”

“Through the skills acquired I am now able to make and repair dress not only for myself, but for my family, and other members of my community. Practicing the tailoring skills has help me have a means of earning daily income, as well as help save money which I ordinarily used to pay to Tailors for making dresses for me and my family”.

According to, Maryam Hassan, 42 years, widow and mother of two, another beneficiary of the tailoring programme, who resides in Bawo, in Hausawa Community in Tarauni Local Government Area of Kano state recounted:

“My sister ‘s husband told me about the PIN/ Peace Direct sponsored Tailoring Programme, and I enrolled in the programme conducted at the Gyadi-Gyadi Women Training Centre. Through the training I was able to upgrade my tailoring skills, which put me in a position to make modern dresses”

“I first learnt how to sew 10 years, but unable to practice the trade because I do not have sewing machine, today I am grateful to PIN and Peace Direct, I now have a sewing machine of my own, as well as other tailoring tools. With these tools I have started earning income from making children dresses for sell in my community.

“My plan is to expand the business because I discovered that there are demands for children dress in our community. The programme has been very helpful to me and my children, through the earnings from business I can now pay my children school fee. I am also in a position now to help other people in my community”.

In the same vein, Amina Iliyasu, 55 years, a housewife with 7 children, who is also a beneficiary of the Tailoring Programme from Ungwan Mallami in Sheka community in Kumbotso Council area of Kano state captures her experience this way:

“I was introduced to the PIN/ Peace Direct sponsored tailoring programme by my neighbor who heard about the programme. I thank God that I participated, at the end of the programme I was given a sewing and weaving machine, and other sewing tools free by the organizer.

“The skills I gained from participating in the programme has help me to become a tailor, but now I can’t use the sewing machine because of my poor health, but my daughter is using it, and making money with it.

“My plan for the future is to open a tailoring business with the tools, but my major constraint in doing this, is that I do not have money to rent a shop, I also require working capital. I will be glad if PIN can assisted me”.
Similarly, Fatima Bala, 32 years, a mother of four children, one of the beneficiaries provided with Hair Dressing kits says the gesture has tremendously transformed her business, as her daily income from the business has grown as a result of deploying the Kits.

“I was introduced to the programme by my friend. Through my participation Hair Dressing kits were given to me. Before I was given the Kits, if customers come they have to wait because I don’t have enough working tools, but that is no longer the case, as the equipment given to me has enable me to attend to more customers.

“With more equipment to work, I have engaged two Apprentices that I am training as part of my contribution to the development of my community. Without the support that I received from PIN/Peace Direct it will have been difficult for me to grow my business”.

You can reach PIN Kano, Nigeria: ^he social reformer on Whatsapp numbers: 08053212191 and GSM 08093056568.

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