UNDP provide startup cash grant for IDPs in Borno

The Northeast part of Nigeria has ever since 2009 experienced insurgency and counter-insurgency activities that had considerable negative effect on the people, such as mass displacement of the people, crippled socio-economic activities, livelihoods, food supplies among many others.

 In the bid to rebuild and re-establish the source of livelihoods of target populations across Borno state, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with funds from European Union (EU) under the Start-up Cash Grant for Integrated Community Stabilization Project has supported the cause of income generation opportunities, empowering, building self-efficacy and resilience of  some of the people affected by the insurgency through provision of marketable vocational skills and financial support. 

820 beneficiaries  ( 384 women’s and 436 men’s)  were equipped with various vocational skills varying from Tailoring, Catering, GSM & Computer repairs, Hair dressing, Welding and Aluminium fabrication, Carpentry, Fish production, Cattle fattening, Crop production, Nursery & Land Scaping, Tie & Dye, Soap making among others, while others were equipped with the art of leather work and automobile technologies.  The successfully graduated beneficiaries were provided with start-up cash grant of 180,000 Naira in two equal tranches. The eligibility criteria for start-up cash grants were to have attendance and performance of over 70% with a robust business plan. These beneficiaries were trained for a period of three months, six months and one year, based on the skills requirement and most of them have already started their own little business from the knowledge and financial aid gained at the training.

Nana Abba seen feeding the fishes in the pond

Nana Abba was one of the beneficiaries from the programme, she was trained on fish production. She along with 2 other beneficiaries joined their finances to construct 3 concrete ponds, purchased 2,000 juvenile fishes, feeds and medications. In the course of this, they lost over 180 fishes which was due to an infection, but this was later resolved with the help of a Veterinary Doctor who helped to sort out the fishes and gave them vitamins, antibiotics to be served alongside their daily feeds. Upon receipt of their second tranche, they pulled resources to purchase additional 300 fishes bought 10 bags of feeds because the fishes have grown and consume a bag in 5 – 6days. “the start-up cash grant has helped to create meaningful employment for me as I no longer solely depend on my husband for everything” remarked Nana.  She on behalf of the others have made contacts with some professional fish dryers from Lake Chad who will spice their fish, dry and package for sale. In Nana’s words “this has opened my eyes to many opportunities for business in the sense that out of my orientation fee, I paid for the construction of a poultry cage, I bought 50 chicks, reared and have sold all with the intention of continuing while I also do the fish production”.

Yaindi displaying her poultry farm.

Yaindi Shettima with the help of UNDP and EU now have a poultry farm. Before the empowerment, Yaindi was a petty trader supporting her husband and children but with the vocational training and financial support provided via this project she now knows how to run a poultry farm and have purchased 100 chicks, paid for feeds, vaccination, drinkers, cage construction and every other thing required for poultry farming. 

Ibrahim working on his farm.

Ibrahim Kaumi Imam was trained in crop production. With his savings and the financial support from UNDP and EU, Ibrahim was to rent a farmland for six months, bought Sorrel, Millet and paid for labour/weeding of the farmland. “Without this skill and financial aid provided by UNDP and EU I could never have achieved this, I am so happy that right now my crops are growing well and with this I can be able to provide for my family and help others”.

Halima displaying some of her works.

Halima Usman fled from Bama LGA due to the increased insurgency in the area and sought refuge in Maiduguri town. Before the empowerment program, Halima did petty jobs like carrying out house chores for individual community members where she resides. Having been trained in tailoring and supported financial via this project, Halima purchased the following items; Butterfly sewing machine, Super, Rubber, sewing materials all for her tailoring business.

She has sewed several dresses especially baby clothing’s and duvets and has realized profit from selling them, with the profits Halima has plans to purchase an additional sewing machine and teach her children how to sew to meet up with the growing demands.

Asabe displaying some of the materials she bought for her new business

Asabe Mamman is a beneficiary of leather works training. Prior to the programme, Asabe was a housewife who supported her family through unpaid care work. After the six-month training she considered herself empowered to contribute financially and used the resources provided by UNDP and EU to purchase a filing machine, shoe materials, a fairly used generator and rented a shop for her new business. She plans on buying a scalping machine, shoe processor and fuelling for generator as poor supply of power has been her major challenge which has slowed down her production.

Baanda Kaumiye on his flourishing farmland at Dusaman village

Baanda Kaumiye was trained on crop production. After the training with the financial aid provided, Baanda has rented a farmland for 4months. He bought seedlings of sesame, millet and maize and planted, bought fertilizers and manure too. The program has made him an employer of labour as he is able to employ other community individuals to cultivate the land with him and pays them per day after work.  With the second tranche payment, Baanda again paid for weeding of his farmland giving the nature of weed growing on his farmland. He also bought additional fertilizers and chemicals which he would apply after the fourth weeding. He added that the profit from the sales of his crops will help him continue and grow other crops too. His farmland is located at Dusaman village in Jere.

So far, at the close-out of this intervention, Kaumiye is said to have harvested 6 bags of sesame of which he has sold 3 bags, he also harvested 12 bags of millet and 8 bags of beans which are currently in the market for sale. He plans on constructing a wash borehole and purchasing the land he currently is renting with proceeds from sales.

Aishatu displaying her works in her shop

Aishatu Mohammed having received her first tranche and trained on leather works, purchased a sewing machine, leather work material and filing machine. She began majorly with production of slippers and further expanded to make small bags given the demand from community members. This she has continued with the aid of her second tranche which she used to purchase additional leather materials, scissors and rented a bigger shop. 

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