Tolerance in Burkina: A project to promote living together

Published on 17/10/2021 | La rédaction

Burkina Faso

The Association for Religious Tolerance and Interreligious Dialogue (ATR/DI) proceeded, this Friday, October 15, 2021 in Ouagadougou, to the official launch of the project Freedom of religion and belief in action. The objective of the association and its partners is to promote living together.

In Burkina Faso, people have long lived in harmony. However, the rise of violent extremism tends to erode this living together. This is why the Association for Religious Tolerance and Interreligious Dialogue (ATR/DI) has decided to act. It has launched the project Freedom of religion and belief (FoRB) in action.

The leitmotiv of this project is to contribute to the eradication of violent extremism through awareness raising. In concrete terms, the implementation of the project will involve raising awareness of religious tolerance between believers and non-believers. Through communication channels, the association will work to disseminate information in the press and will organize meetings. In the field, in schools, entities will be set up by young people. This will provide a platform for them to develop the art of understanding and knowledge of the culture and religion of others. They will thus avoid falling into the trap of prejudice and stereotypes.

According to the president of the ATR/DI association, the Dawelg Naaba Boalga Issaka Sourwema, the challenges that arise at the level of contemporaries must necessarily be subject to reflection in order to find solutions. "The solutions must not be imagined by those who lead the state community. It is also the responsibility of citizens to engage in terms of reflection and action to make their contribution to the resolution of problems. There is no society without challenges, otherwise it would not be a society. It is expected that the stakeholders at the launch of the project will participate in the animation of activities and presentations that will take place," he said.

Women's involvement

For Issaka Sourwema, living together cannot be achieved without the involvement of women: "On the side of women, actions will be undertaken so that there is a conjunction of efforts. In the basic unit of society and precisely of the family, the woman plays a primordial role. Through education, she informs the cardinal values of society. If women are involved in what we are doing, they can easily replicate this at the grassroots level of society.

This project is funded with 20 million CFA francs by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) of the USA. According to its country director, Kevin Adomayakpor, this project will strengthen the resilience of Burkina Faso in the fight against intolerance. "This project will allow Burkinabè to reflect on the issue of religious tolerance, inter-religious dialogue, but also to lay the groundwork for investing in young people, for the fight against violent extremism. We all know that, for some years now, religion has been exploited to destabilize our communities. This partner will carry out important work in the field to raise awareness by mobilizing the various religious guides and traditional leaders. But also by equipping young people with everything that can help them discover the extremist religious discourse and give them all the elements to fight against it," he said.

The project will target the regions of the Centre, Centre-North, East, North and Sahel.
The Association for Religious Tolerance and Interreligious Dialogue was established in 2018. It is non-political and non-denominational. Its general objective is to promote interreligious dialogue, peaceful coexistence and interfaith mixing in Burkina Faso.


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