Amina’s is just one of many stories of strength and resilience we heard in Bauchi State. We are determined to expand further to help more women in northern Nigeria and beyond rebuild their lives after conflict and violence. With your support, we can help many more women turn the page and write the next chapter.
In 2018, we introduced our program to serve marginalized women in the Bauchi State of northern Nigeria, helping women stand with each other to move forward and rebuild in the face of violence and poverty.
In Bauchi State, despite the Nigerian government’s efforts, women and children continue to remain highly vulnerable in conflict situations. And widespread poverty remains a major challenge, provoking unemployment, malnutrition, illiteracy, low status for women, patriarchal norms and limited access to social and health services. Bauchi State is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a mother, but women here have an average of eight children — often with no means to support them.
Despite these challenges, women in Bauchi State — like so many others we meet across the world — are resilient and hopeful, determined to defy the odds and work toward a better life. Amina was one of the women in this area enrolled in our program. Her story began with tragedy: married at 14, she and her husband were living with their five children when their village was raided. The family scattered as armed men set fire to houses and started to shoot. Amina was forced to remain in hiding as her eldest son was shot multiple times in the chest. Fortunately, he survived, and Amina and her family escaped to an internally displaced person camp to start a new life. But when her husband was killed tragically in a work accident, Amina was left on her own. She married again, but her new husband abandoned her after she became pregnant with her sixth child.
Unable to provide for herself and her children, Amina felt she had nowhere to turn. Then she learned of our program, where she found the resources and networks of support she needed to rebuild her life. Having learned the vocational skill of poultry farming, she now uses her monthly stipend to fund her own thriving business. She also took advantage of counseling and learned about stress management and how to balance work with caring for her family. “I can now take good care of myself and manage my household effectively,” she says.
Amina also spoke passionately about the network of supportive women she met through the program. “The bond of sisterhood has influenced my view of life... We are all there for one another in good and bad times. My health and my mood have improved.” She sees her time with Women for Women International as a turning point in her life. “My goal is to give my children quality education, and I intend to utilize my knowledge and skills to achieve it.”