With the help of about 50 supporters we have rented a three-bedroom house in suburban Maiduguri, Borno state’s capital.
Two teachers and a nanny have been employed. They helped us select the children. All the residents, adults and children, come from the same local government area.
We ended up with more boys than girls.
Boys’ vulnerability is hidden in the headlines: 94% of the displaced people I’ve met in Kano are women and children. Boys past puberty have been shot and abducted in vast numbers so some smaller ones have refuge in our COB house.
A garden has been planted.
We have neem, mango, lemon, orange, banana and zogola trees. There are crops of peanuts, maize, tomatoes, onions and local delicacies that the children tend as part of their practical studies, balancing the theory with lessons in life.
There are chickens and an egg supply.
The children are reading and writing after two years, or more, without access to education.
Monthly running costs amount to N110k, about $550US, and this provides the basics.
We’d love to expand our library, provide more clothing and ensure that the diet is balanced, nutritious and prevents ill-health. We’d love some solar panels.
There is probably a need for a further thousand homes of grace such as ours.
If you know of another band of fifty people who would like to establish one, we can offer the consultation services and the groundwork in setting it up. Less than $1 per day per child seems a mighty good deal from any angle.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed time or money thus far and joined us in this dream.