Our work in Nigeria
The nine year long insurgency waged by extremist group Boko Haram across northern Nigeria and its borders has led to the killing of tens of thousands, and the displacement of millions. Street Child is currently working to help those affected by the insurgency to rebuild their lives and provide children with education.
Conflict in North East Nigeria has seen an active targeting of education, leaving millions of children deprived of the chance to go to school. Street Child believes that education in emergencies should be an essential part of the humanitarian response. That is why we are working to re-establish education for 23,000 children across the three north-eastern states in Nigeria which are worst-impacted by the ongoing conflict. Operating through an integrated child protection and education approach, we work with our local partners and the community to provide clear support networks to make children feel safe and protected, giving them the best chance to go to school and learn.
Education in Emergencies
Supported by UNICEF, Street Child and five local partners are constructing 60 Temporary Learning Centres (TLCs) across 30 communities. For some children, this is their first opportunity to enter a classroom in over three years. We are training community volunteers as classroom assistants for these centres and setting up community committees for education.
We are also providing training on Education in Emergency to 400 school teachers, so they are better equipped to deal with children who have experienced trauma. We are renovating 120 primary school classrooms that have been damaged by on-going conflict, and providing books, pens and education materials to 23,000 children, to encourage them to stay in school, even in the difficult, and sometimes insecure, circumstances they find themselves in.
Child protection is a serious concern in an emergency – particularly one characterised by the targeting and abduction of children. Street Child is being supported by the UN (through the Nigerian Humanitarian Fund) to build a sustainable response to these issues. We are setting up Child-Friendly Spaces where 18,000 children can play and receive counselling; staffed by community volunteers who have been trained by our counsellors and professional mental health staff. These spaces are supported by professional social workers who can help provide services to children that have more severe conditions.
We also want to help children reconnect with their families, and reintegrate into society if they have been associated with armed groups. To this end, we have a team of specialised Family Tracing and Reunification officers who travel the country, ensure child safety, and work to find parents that may have been lost in the turmoil.
Families have lost so much during the conflict, some cannot even feed their children. Many children are pulled out of school to support the family income, or help feed themselves. To combat this situation, we are providing over 300 vulnerable mothers and foster parents with vocational skills training - including baking, sewing and soap making - and business grants so they can setup sustainable businesses. As part of the programme, their children also received school materials such as bags, exercise books, pencils and pens, rubbers and shoes so they could return to school and have hope for the future.
We have seen that this has had immediate results. The foster parents are able to save every week, and are committed to keeping their children in school.
Stories from Nigeria
Forged in the heat and poverty of northern Nigeria, Boko Haram has been insurgent in the country and its borders for over nine years. The insurgency has killed tens of thousands and displaced millions, creating a devastating domino effect with enormous human costs. Entire villages have fled to areas of safety, only to find themselves in the limbo of Internally Displaced People [IDP] camps. Families have been separated and children orphaned.
Through the powerful words of our beneficiaries and a series of stunning photographs captured by Street Child photographer Chris Parkes, read how your support is rebuilding livelihoods, reuniting families, helping children return to school, and in the most extreme cases, providing psychological counselling.
* The names and details of interviewees have been changed to protect their identity and privacy.