Miss. Maryam Aje
PGD Peace and Conflict Resolution
Is the Executive Director of African Youth for Peace Development and Empowerment Foundation, an NGO working on youth empowerment and peace building in Northern Nigeria with headquarters in Damaturu, Yobe State. The Human Rights Defender is a passionate advocate for respect of the principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. She is an active stakeholder in the Countering Violent Extremism efforts in the North East Nigeria. She has used her understanding of the local dynamics of violent extremism to train and provide mentorship to over 2,000 youths on various skills and empowerment programs, and also organised the first Youth Peace Camp in Nigeria where 100 youths were provided training on leadership development, peace building, citizenship and civic engagement among others aimed at inculcating in them the spirit of Nationalism, Responsible Citizenship, Peace and Resilience in lessening the appeal of violent extremism among them.
Maryam has vigorously participated in the designing, development and implementation of over 60 community initiatives aimed at reducing vulnerability of youth and communities to the appeal of violent extremism in Yobe State under the “North East Regional Initiative (NERI)” a USAID/OTI funded project implemented by Creative Associates International. Some of these projects she coordinated include; supporting rehabilitation and return of public administration to liberated LGAs, dialogues and call-in radio programs on defection and reintegration, rehabilitation of public infrastructures such as schools, hospitals, water supply, drainage construction in (Damaturu, Potiskum, Yunusari and Geidam) and other soft target activities such as seeds multiplication support, skills empowerment training for returning IDPs, Almajiri students, and women, sports activities and town hall meetings.
Her notable 10 youths community service clubs she established have expanded with over 1,000 membership that is actively engaging communities and positively contributing to development in various capacities in nation building. The role she played in promoting peaceful election in 2015 through her “Voter Education Campaign” earned her an award of Voter Education Ambassador by Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA). Other campaigns to her record include: Enrolling and Keeping Girl Child in School, BringBackourGirls, WorldAtschool, and UpForSchool - a campaign to raise 10million signature in promoting equal and quality education to every child.
She has established a good working relationship with various Human Rights organizations at local, national and international level including the National Human Rights Commission Nigeria, Partners West Africa, Cleen Foundation, and Frontline Defenders –The International Organization for the protection of Human Rights Defenders, Alumni of Mandela Institute of Development Studies (MINDS), Member of Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Fellow, Youth Leaders and Community Influencers (YLCI), Development Initiative for West Africa (DIWA) and is one of the founding members of Partnership Against Violent Extremism in Nigeria (PAVE), a multi stakeholders partnership formed through the Office of the National Chief Security Adviser (SAVE Project).