Bulama Mohammed is 45-year-old from Dikwa Local Government Area, Borno State and is the sole bread winner for his family of 5 children. When the insurgents evaded Dikwa Town, they burnt down the entire community. All of the government and public infrastructures were destroyed, resulting in a massive loss of lives and livelihood opportunities.
” I stopped pursuing education after my secondary school certificate and struggled to find a good job. To make ends meet, I learned the art of motorcycle mechanic and started my own business. I was earning enough money to take care of my family and life was going well as all basic needs were met, until the insurgents attacked our town. I lost all of my income generating sources and we had no option than to rely solely on humanitarian aid for survival” said Bulama.
Bulama was badly wounded by the insurgent’s attack. He was found unconscious at the outskirts of town by some of the fleeing community members and was taken to Maiduguri Hospital where he was rushed into emergency care to treat his fractured leg. Later, he discovered that his two brothers were killed in that tragic encounter. Upon his recovery, he struggled to feed his family until he was introduced and chosen as one of the beneficiaries of the UNDP Recovery and Peace Building Project.
“UNDP offered me the opportunity to rebuild my life through the vocational skill training. I was left without a source of livelihood due to the conflict, one of my legs was seriously fractured in the process, which means I could no longer do everything. By selecting tailoring as the skill to be trained on, I am able to again find work now that I have these new skills. I am very thankful to the Government of Japan who has provided financial support for this project, with the skills and start up grant, I have started my business and I hope to become one of the best tailors in town” concluded Bulama.
Recollecting on life before the insurgency, Zainab shared “My husband was a motor/auto mechanic and was proudly taking care of the family. There was adequate food, clothing, and shelter for the family, as well as all of my children were attending school. One horrible night, the militants attacked the community and killed men, women and children, looted our food, livestock and valuables and set ablaze houses, marketplaces, worship places, and government offices. The insurgents abducted my husband and one of my children was hit by a bullet which led to the loss of his life.”
Before she was chosen as a beneficiary, Zainab was barely able to meet the basic needs of her family and mostly dependent on humanitarian aid in IDP camps. This Recovery and Peace Building Project by UNDP provided her the opportunity to learn tailoring. She is keen to learn the art of cutting, stitching and designing. With this renewed hope, her goal is to establish and expand her business after graduation.
“I am very thankful to UNDP and Government of Japan who has provided me an opportunity to learn a new skill that I can now turn into income to support my family. I am very confident that I can make ends meet with the income that will be generated when I start my tailoring business” concluded Zainab.
Hadiza Mohammed Ibrahim
Soap and detergent making skills was chosen by 33-year-old, Hadiza Mohammed Ibrahim, as a skill she wanted to acquire. Hadiza is from Mafoni community, Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC) Local Government Area (LGA), where she lives and takes care of her 6 children.
“As a housewife, I took care of the household chores and attended to the needs of my children. My husband was a carpenter and had a booming business. We had all of our basic needs, there was adequate food, shelter, and clothing.” Said Hadiza.
Unfortunately, due to family conflict she was left to take care of her 6 children alone. With no education, Hadiza was not able to find a decent employment, so she resorted to selling peanuts to take care of her family. When her town was attacked as part of the conlfict, she was forced to flee with her family, losing the little livelihood support she once had.
With support from the UNDP Recovery and Peace Building Project, Hadiza learned how to make soap and detergent, and plans on starting her own production very soon by renting a small shop. With the funding, she also wants to employ youth from conflict affected communities, as it will help tackle poverty thereby making them to be more self-reliant.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity provided by UNDP and Government of Japan enabling women and youth to learn different vocational skills in Borno State. I have no doubt that the soap and detergent making training will be a source of sustainable income for my family. I plan to start my own business which will enable me provide good quality of soap and detergent to the local users, all while providing income for me to take care of my family” concluded Hadiza.
Aisha Alhaji Bashir
Aisha Alhaji Bashir is from Bulabulin community Dikwa Local Government Area (LGA) Borno State, with her husband and 7 children. Prior to the crisis that made them flee their community to the IDP camp, Aisha’s husband was the sole breadwinner, taking care of all of the needs of his family.
“I was a housewife living with my husband and he was working as a commercial driver before the conflict. Life was smooth and going well. My husband was the sole bread winner for whole family and took care of food, clothing, health care and education for our children.”