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Nigerian lawyer honoured at 2017 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award ceremony

The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR today honoured Zannah Mustapha with the 2017 Nansen Refugee Award at a ceremony in Geneva for founding a school in Maiduguri, Nigeria, the epicentre of the Boko Haram insurgency.

The school has stayed open throughout the conflict with Boko Haram, which has seen some 20,000 killed across the Lake Chad region, and millions more displaced.

The school provides a free education, as well as free meals, uniforms and health care, to children affected and displaced by violence. Those orphaned by the conflict on both sides are welcomed into Mustapha’s classrooms as a sign of the reconciliation he hopes to achieve in the region. Continue reading Nigerian lawyer honoured at 2017 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award ceremony

BACK TO BASICS: A teacher works with a young pupil in a refugee camp in Maiduguri. Agencies are helping state schools in Nigeria to reopen, and holding classes in camps for the displaced.Picture: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Education offers Nigeria hope (www.africanindy.com)

When Boko Haram militants stormed his home in north-east Nigeria three years ago, Grema Mohammed, 13, was forced to watch as they killed his father.

Now, sitting in a classroom where the pupils are practising their greetings in English, Grema quietly works alongside children of the jihadist group which shot dead his father.

“I am friends with everybody, it doesn’t matter who their father is,” he said. Continue reading Education offers Nigeria hope (www.africanindy.com)

Prisoners of Boko Haram, then prisoners of fame (www.gulfnews.com)

The next time international do-gooders decide to lend their hashtag support to a cause in Africa, it would be wise to remember the fallout of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign.

In April 2014, the Islamist militant group Boko Haram abducted more than 270 schoolgirls from their dorm in Chibok, in north-east Nigeria. The global Bring Back Our Girls campaign began about two weeks later. The Chibok students were hardly the first victims; thousands had already been kidnapped, an atrocity that went mostly unpublicised for almost two years. But the campaign pressured the government into prioritising the Chibok abductees, leading to 21 of them being freed last October. Continue reading Prisoners of Boko Haram, then prisoners of fame (www.gulfnews.com)

In This Unique Nigerian School, Children Born To Boko Haram Learn Together With Those Orphaned By The Militant Group

When Boko Haram militants stormed his home in northeast Nigeria three years ago, 13-year-old Grema Mohammed was forced to watch as they killed his father.

Now, sitting in a classroom where the pupils are practising their greetings in English, Mohammed quietly works alongside children of the jihadist group which shot dead his father. Continue reading In This Unique Nigerian School, Children Born To Boko Haram Learn Together With Those Orphaned By The Militant Group

The Nigerian school for orphans of jihadists – and their victims ( theguardian.com )

In a region where social bonds have been fractured by Boko Haram insurgency, the Future Prowess school is an unlikely model of cohesion

Students at Future Prowess primary school
Students at Future Prowess primary school, which welcomes the orphans of Boko Haram, and the children of people killed by the jihadist group Photograph: Patrick Kingsley for the Guardian
They make unlikely classmates. At a small primary school in north-east Nigeria, a group of uniformed orphans are greeting a visitor to their art class.

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By Zannah Mustapha, founder of Future Prowess – OSLO Humanitarian Confrerence on Nigeria And the Lake Chad region 24/2/17

 

 

By Zannah Mustapha, founder of Future Prowess

Today, a conference is being held to look at the humanitarian crisis unfolding in north-eastern Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. I live this crisis every day. I have seen a thousand orphans who have lost both their mothers and fathers to the conflict fought every day between soldiers and Boko Haram Islamists. The children and victims of the religious crises are suffering in silence, victims of post traumatic stress, with many having watched their parents bring killed just because they were taught in a western school.

 

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