In Nigeria, since the conflict with Boko Haram began in 2009, an estimated 2.2 million people have been displaced from their homes and communities. Of those 2.2 million, about 1.4 million live in Borno State in camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) that have been set up by the government in the host communities. Supported by limited funding, inhabitants in these IDP camps often lack access to basic amenities, including education.
Many IDP girls have been out-of-school since the conflicts began, while a handful of them have never been to school to begin with. Their literacy and numeracy levels are below the national average. Child and teen marriages are common for IDP girls. As young adults, they are largely unemployed and survive by relying on the assistance provided by the government, concerned citizens and donor organizations.
The situation for IDP girls in Northeastern Nigeria is quite dire. These girls and their families did not choose to be displaced, no one does. But this is no reason why they should be left behind. At Give Girls A Chance, our mission is to ensure that Nigerian girls everywhere, including those hard-to-reach girls are afforded an opportunity to access quality education, which is their basic human right. Through education, we believe that we can give these girls a voice, empower them to change their narrative and give them a chance to reach for a better future.
Amina, an IDP girl living in a camp in Maiduguri was the very first girl sponsored by Give Girls A Chance. As a result of the program she has had the opportunity to remain enrolled in school. She is currently one of the top students in her class and is intent on pursuing her ambitions to become a medical doctor. We are honoured to be part of Amina’s story. She has chosen not to let the conflict define her entire life and our goal as an organization is to ensure that we can support as many girls as possible to do the same.
This Friday, March 8th is International Women’s Day, and we encourage you to consider how you can make the world a better place for girls like Amina by giving them the opportunity of a lifetime through education. You can join us by hosting an awareness gathering, dinner, or screening of powerful the short film Brave Girl Rising (by Girl Rising and IRC) www.girlrising.org/brave/film. The film portrays stories of girls around the world who have been through conflict and shows how education has created hope and love despite their circumstances.
To help spread the message about Give Girls A Chance and the work that we are doing to support Nigerian girls displaced by conflict to continue with their education, please circulate this message in your networks and encourage people to donate at www.givegirlsachanceng.org/donate. Every little bit counts!