Youth learning the tailoring trade ©

Justice for All Nigeria

May 2019

The Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) economic empowerment programme is positively impacting communities in three focal states. Youth and women are learning new skills, such as carpentry and joinery, fashion design and tailoring, hair-dressing, welding and metal fabrication, leather works and shoe-making, electrical installation, and confectionary and catering. The training is delivered in partnership with local organisations: the HERWA Community Development Initiative, the Borno State Agency for Mass Education, and the Initiative for the Development of the Needy, Orphans, Less Privileged and Widows. 

Benefits to date

Beneficiaries are learning new skills and becoming self-sufficient.

'I now make a living as a tailor. With my savings, I registered for a national diploma in civil engineering...'

Participants can better provide for their families.

I am already gainfully self-employed. I practice my trade at home, washing and dressing hair and doing pedicures. I now do a lot of good things for myself and my children.’

Members of the Civilian Joint Task Force - a joint effort between the community and security forces to keep communities safe - are participating in the programme. Their new skills are supporting their livelihoods, while actively providing community policing services. Members are also gaining more respect in their communities. 

From my earnings, I now feed my family well and pay for my children’s school fees. Nobody knows my problems now.’ 

The newly acquired skills are breaking down gender barriers in communities, as females participate in training that is traditionally dominated by men. 

‘I am already being invited into households to fix some minor electrical problems. Because of the Islamic tradition of Purdah which bans men from entering matrimonial houses, I will be readily available as a woman to enter households and carry out electrical repairs.’

The programme is positively received by communities.

‘We are most grateful to the EU, the British Council and the Herwa Community Development Initiative for the training. We have always been deeply worried about how youths will acquire employable skills to earn livelihoods so that they don’t become criminals.’

Getting results

As at May 2019, 619 women and youth have benefited from the programme, including 350 from the CJTF.