URGENT: How you can Help IDP’s
Emergency Care to assist Internally Displaced People gain independence
N10, 000/ $50 rents a room for 6 months
N 7, 000/ $35 basic food items while the family gets established
N 5,000/ $25 basic household items: sleeping mat, water containers, etc.,
N 5,000/ $25 capital for a small business
TOTAL N27,000/ $135 for a family to be self-sufficient and independent
* Please use ‘Allocate my Donation’ button on the Donate page and email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Northern Nigeria is experiencing great hardship due to the escalations in violence by Boko Haram and now more than 1.2 million Internally Displaced People (IDP) are seeking refuge across the nation. Kano has absorbed more than 1600, registered and recognised as being in dire need.
I was first introduced to the reality of their condition in late February when Hisbah, a group of Muslim wardens, took me to a three roomed house where 162 people were taking breath. In material terms they had nothing but the clothes they were wearing. These seven families arrived as the emergency authority was closing down its Kano services, and the state’s funds for providing basic help dried up.
I sat beside a young mother who had taken a bullet through her calf, delivered her child prematurely, and still thanked God for the rudimentary bed she lay upon in this crowded house. I posted photos that night, to share the situation and money came for food. We fed them, but the needs were greater than food and the responsibility of feeding people in limbo was more than I could manage.
When further funds came from Facebook friends we worked with these families, asking them to find rooms to rent in the area, to consider what business opportunities there were in that area, and to inform us when they had made their plans. Within three days every family had signed a lease and set up business. it cost about N20,000 per family. We were satisfied, the boys of Gidan Almajirai and I, that we had done our best.
But more people came… more and more: sometimes a woman walking 500km with seven children; sometimes a group of families who came together, sheltering behind abandoned trucks in a mechanics scrap yard; sometimes a group of women with 45 or more children to care for. Over the first five weeks, FB friends and others have contributed funds. We have settled more than 40 families, almost 400 people. Our method is this:
- An initial visit to assess the situation, listen, give counselling, direct the people to seek accommodation and consider a business, and we provide food for three days.
- A second visit, usually within 48 hours, to sign leases with landlords who are accustomed to 12 month leases. We only have funds to cover 6 months’ per family so we pay the rent, provide N5,000/ $25 US as capital to the head of each family, and issue basic household items such as a sleeping mat, cooking pot and water containers.
- A third courtesy visit within the first week , to ensure that everything is operating smoothly. If we have been given clothing or other items we distribute these.
Thereafter the families have our numbers. Most of their phone calls are prayers of thanks and updates with good news as they turn their N5,000 into something more viable week by week. One woman lost her capital when a family member needed medical treatment, so we topped her up and on we go. We did not expect to be doing this work. It has come to us. We cannot deny the need and we are grateful for every contribution that has passed directly through our hands to theirs.
You can follow some of the families on our Facebook page