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Religious Youth Service

Religious Youth Service First Africa Rising Project

Lagos, Nigeria— Africa Rising Project

Duration: April 1 - 2, 2000

Over sixty five religious leaders, social activities and concerned youth leaders from six nations helped inaugurate the first RYS Africa Rising Program in Lagos, Nigeria on April 1-2. The program included talks from the Muslim and Christian leaders and academics from Lagos State University as well as a leadership workshop which was led by Mr. Kerim Tseney of Ghana and Rev. John W. Gehring of the USA.

Service was a major part of the program, on the projects second day all participants went to a local hospital and worked on cleaning the neglected areas inside and also helped landscape the outside grounds. After returning from work the participants shared together their experiences and also helped make plans for a major West African Project in late September.

The program in Nigeria was timely for their is a growing tension in several states of Nigeria as a result of the local enforcement of Sharia (Islamic Law). Both Christian and Muslim participants agreed that the time for demonstrating interfaith cooperation is now and the RYS is a model of that cooperation.

RYS Africa Rising meetings in West Africa A series of RYS meetings with students, media, government and NGO leaders took place in Ghana and Cote Ivoire during the first week of April as part of the preparation for a major RYS "Africa Rising Project" on September 23rd.

In Ghana, students are working on two campus's but student leaders are now planning to expand to four campus locations. Support for the RYS was given by the Publisher of Ghanan Times as he commended the work that RYS has done inside Ghana and worldwide. Ghana has hosted numerous RYS projects since 1992.

One meeting in Cote Ivoire had fifty leaders from local NGO's attend and they expressed a desire to work together and with Africa Rising and RYS in sharing resources and building programs. At a small meeting for religious leaders their was an agreement that each faith should host future RYS meetings.

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