Youth Coalition Against Terrorism (YOCAT)

Ambassador: Imrana Alhaji Buba , Nigeria

Imrana founded the Youth Coalition Against Terrorism (YOCAT) in 2010 to provide young people with skills training and to promote peace in northern Nigeria, directly impacting 6,000 people to date. The organisation aims to unite young people against violent extremism in the country through its Security Awareness Campaign.

According to the United Nations, terror organisations such as Boko Haram have displaced more than 1.7 million people from their homes in recent years1 . The Security Awareness Campaign helps to educate people about signs of extremism and violence to help prevent radicalisation. This campaign has reached 1,500 people so far. Having experienced trauma in the past, Imrana established counselling services and training programmes to help victims of violence overcome emotional trauma and reject reactive violence. This is done through the Peace Education and Mentorship for Students (PEMS) programme, which supports survivors of Boko Haram attacks, helping them embrace peace as a solution. 2,000 people have been educated through the PEMS programme.

YOCAT also conducts preventative campaigns by providing training and development opportunities to help unemployed young people find jobs. Extremist groups often utilise economic incentives when recruiting. By increasing the employability of young people in recruitment hotspots, this decreases the likelihood of these individuals being radicalised by such groups. YOCAT also works to provide entrepreneurial training and source start-up capital to encourage young people to start their own businesses when job opportunities are scarce. So far, YOCAT has provided skills training for 2,000 young people in northern Nigeria. The organisation also runs community dialogue sessions to reduce tensions between security personnel and community leaders.