The Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) programme is supporting economic empowerment programmes targeted at women in Yobe and Borno states. The initiative is aimed at supporting the recovery process in both states.
The programme is being implemented by local civil society organisation: the Community Engagement and Social Development Initiative (CESDI). The women are learning relevant vocational skills to help them better provide for their families. The beneficiaries are selected based on vulnerability and market assessments to determine their suitability for the programme.
Over 300 women - from Potiskum, Jakusko and Nguru LGAs - were enrolled in trainings on savings and loans, life skills, peacebuilding, and community engagement. Beneficiaries were further exposed to skills ranging from livestock production, modern farming techniques, groundnut oil production, Kalwa preparation, tea spices preparation, making of food spices, fish processing, and production of liquid soap wash, shampoo, body and hair cream. The vocational areas were based on an assessment of local market needs and resources.
After the training, the women formed groups to organise community peace initiatives aimed at addressing local concerns, such as domestic violence, engagement of out-of-school children in street trading, and drug and substance abuse among youths.
CESDI, the implementing partner, has also leveraged the platform of the women groups to share handbills disseminating information in local languages on the symptoms and how to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
Over 300 widows who lost their husbands in the insurgency participated in the livelihood programme. The women were drawn from 14 LGAs in Borno and have so far benefitted from psycho-social support and trainings in social engagement, life and vocational skills, including cap making, livestock production, fish processing, groundnut oil, the processing of local beverages and spices, and soapmking. The areas were selected based on a needs assessment in their communities.
The beneficiaries have also been grouped into clusters of 20 members in each of the LGAs and are being supported to undertake initiatives to improve social conditions in their communities. They have also been engaged in sensitization initiatives of CESDI on COVID-19.
'My husband was killed five years ago leaving me with 12 children. I stayed with two children whom I enrolled in school. While 10 others were living with our relatives. With this support, I have now brought back four more children to live with me and plan to bring others back as my business grows.'
Malama Gambo, Jagana, Konduga LGA, Borno state