Before the harvest, Mary Utsewa touched an ear of maize so large she could hardly get her hand around it. She looked at the stalks reaching above her head and considered her good fortune. Driven from her fields for three growing seasons by Boko Haram, Utsewa is a farmer again
Three years later, Gombi and communities like it in northern Adamawa state remain devastated. All that’s left of Aisha’s house is a charred heap of collapsed concrete and corrugated tin. Any food is long gone. Farm fields are strewn with debris, and farmers have been left without supplies and equipment.
It’s bad enough to be an internally displaced person fleeing for your life in Nigeria. But to be a female on the run with seven children between the ages of 1 month and 13 years is unimaginable.
The Peace Through Sports project, led by the American University of Nigeria with support from USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives, has been hosting a six-month sports tournament to recognize and build youth self-esteem, resilience and tolerance. Youth participants, diverse in geographic origin, attend local secondary schools or were identified as vulnerable to violent extremism. Over 1,500 local youth from the northeastern state of Adamawa have been competing on 104 soccer, basketball and volleyball teams.
In Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, fewer than one out of every five married women use family planning. An additional 16 percent of women want to delay or limit childbearing, but are not using contraception. Limited access to family planning prevents women from safely spacing their pregnancies, fuels unsustainable population growth, and puts the health of women and children at risk.
Last updated: January 06, 2017