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.
In Niger, it is common for girls to get married as young as 14 years old and miss out on the opportunity to attend school and learn essential life skills. They grow up lacking knowledge of proper health, nutrition and pregnancy practices, leading to high rates of chronic malnutrition and related pregnancy complications affecting them and their future offspring.
A new civic education film from the Youngstars Foundation asks Nigerians the question, “Aftercount, I Vote Wetin?” (“I Voted, Now What?”). The film, released in 2012, encourages Nigerian youth to stay involved in the political process between elections.
Last updated: April 16, 2016