Recipients in front of the renovated skills center
The Centre for Sustainable Development and Education in Africa (CSDEA) launched a new initiative to empower 1000 rape victims and widows with integrated peacebuilding skills in the North Eastern region of Nigeria in November, 2017. The aim of the project is to renovate and equip a skills acquisition centre in Jimeta/Yola, providing psycho-social support, mentoring and livelihoods training for financial independence to 1000 rape victims and widows traumatized by the violent activities of Boko Haram and other insurgent groups.
CSDEA commenced the project after receiving funds donated through over 60 donors via GlobalGiving in February, 2018. One hundred recipients from Adamawa, Bornu and Yobe states were selected for the first batch of the project after a rigorous selection process. Thirty percent of recipients were kidnapped and raped by Boko Haram as young girls or house wives. Seventy percent lost their husbands in violent circumstances to Boko Haram and other extremist groups. Almost all of the women selected for this project have lost at least a child or immediate family member to the activities of violent extremist groups in North Eastern Nigeria.
The psycho-social support and mentoring workshops have commenced for the first 100 recipients of this project. The story of 19 years old Aisha from Gwoza, Bornu State shows the level of trauma experienced by most of the recipients of this project. She was kidnapped, beaten and raped while in captivity by Boko Haram members. She was later taken across the border to Cameroun where she was given out in marriage to a Boko Haram leader. She was lucky to escape from captivity after six weeks but the scars and trauma live on. 30 years old Briskla from Gwoza, Bornu State shares a similar fate. She was kidnapped, raped and impregnated by a Boko Haram member. Despite the fact that she was able to escape from captivity at mid-night after two months, her baby might never know his father.
The renovation of the skills acquisition centre is almost completed. Sixty percent of the women prefer cattle rearing, while thirty three percent want to engage in tailoring. The remaining seven percent say they either want to engage in restaurant business or rear chicken. CSDEA intends to start the cattle rearing ranches and tailoring schools in March, 2018. We also intend to explore the restaurant and chicken poultry farms to see the possibilities that exist for the remaining seven percent to be gainfully employed to provide for themselves and their families.
We wish to call on all supporters of this project to help donate to reach our target. We are behind in fundraising for this project and your further donations will help ensure that we put smiles on the faces of these girls and women, and give them a reason to live! You can also share this project with friends and families that can donate to ensure that we meet our fundraising target. Thank you always for your support.
Some recipients at a psychosocial support workshop
Cross section of some project recipients
Some recipients at the skills aquisition centre