We hope to build an enlarged network of extremely vulnerable women providing support to one another and mentoring other displaced or vulnerable women and girls; build sustainable businesses and be financially independent while resisting and seeking justice for acts of violence.
Hajia Kaltumi was forcefully displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency, having lost her husband in the mayhem. With 5 children and herself to cater for, she and other Internally Displaced Persons rely on charity organisations and philanthropic individuals for support.
This is the reality of a lot of women in Nigeria, especially the Northern region as they battle with getting grips of their lives again after the terror attacks.
Since the beginning of the Boko Haram insurgency in 2009, Nigeria has an estimated 3.8 million internally displaced persons, out of which 53% are females. The quality of life of internally displaced people in Nigeria is disturbing. Female IDPs are mainly vulnerable and defenseless, due to the trauma they have experienced and having lost the male members of their families to the violence that displaced them in most cases. They largely live on the goodwill of charitable individuals, faith-based and non-governmental organizations; and government aid for supply of food items, nutritional supplements for malnourished children, clothes, health care services, hygiene supplies and protection services. Listening to the women was terrifying as they recounted their experiences of living in the same village with terrorists for days or weeks seeing people butchered; children and relatives lost. These women are from the most affected states of Yobe, Borno, Adamawa and Zamfara States.
Responding to questions about their livelihood and integration into their host communities, it was gathered that the women have limited or no access to reproductive health facilities, quality education, decent jobs and economic empowerment. They also suffer from different degrees of violence.
About 80 women have benefited from training in financial and digital literacy, entrepreneurship and business development. Supported by The Pollination Project, we have been able to fund 22 women’s businesses.