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Cablegate: Jos, Nigeria Interfaith Day of Service

VZCZCXYZ0001
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHUJA #1943 2961214
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 231214Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7300
INFO RUEHOS/AMCONSUL LAGOS 2147

UNCLAS ABUJA 001943

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SCUL SOCI KPAO NI
SUBJECT: JOS, NIGERIA INTERFAITH DAY OF SERVICE

REF: (A) STATE 92631
(B) ABUJA 01744
(C) ABUJA 01883

1. On October 17, DCM led a group of 30 inter-agency volunteers to
Jos to refurbish sports facilities in fulfillment of the President's
call for an Interfaith Day of Service (ref A). This event was one
of three community service activities undertaken by the Mission,
which included the renovation of a girl's dormitory in Lagos, and
Polio Immunization Plus days in Abuja (refs B and C). In Jos,
Mission personnel joined local youth and Peace Clubs to refurbish a
recreational center that unites Muslim and Christian Nigerian youth
in sporting activities. The refurbishment included providing new
basketball hoops and nets, resetting a basketball pole, cleaning and
repainting lines on the courts and a donation of balls to each Peace
Club.
2. Jos, about three hours by road from Abuja, has special symbolic
value as a venue because of politically-inspired communal violence
in November 2008 that left several hundred people dead. Mission
employees partnered with representatives from Peace Clubs that were
established under USAID's Conflict Abatement through Local
Mitigation (CALM). The court was built in 2003 through a
USAID-funded project called Basketball for Peace. Although the
center continues to be used daily, it no longer receives USG
funding.
3. The successful day concluded with a ribbon cutting ceremony,
followed by brief remarks from the DCM and a representative from the
state Commission of Youth and Sport and a symbolic hand-over of
balls to a representative from each of the 18 local Peace Clubs.
SANDERS

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