Supporting families and communities with business training in Nigeria

Before he was displaced, Ibrahim Muhammed, 65, was a successful farmer, with 40 cows and 300 sheep to his name, plus a warehouse holding 300 sacks of sorghum and beans.

However, Ibrahim and his family were forced to flee their home and their farm, seeking shelter in the Mafa IDP camp in Borno State, Nigeria after non-state armed groups (NSAGs) attacked their community and destroyed everything they had.

After fleeing, Ibrahim and his family lived in displacement for many years, without assistance in accessing support and essential services. There are few opportunities to earn an income in the Mafa camp, and Ibrahim had no means of livelihood or food support for his 18 children (12 boys and 6 girls). As a result, the children began hawking and begging on the street to earn money to help support the family, rather than going to school.

With DFID funding, DRC now offers livelihood support for persons who, like Ibrahim and his family, are particularly vulnerable and have urgent protection needs. DRC supports these vulnerable persons in Mafa by providing small business management training, which empowers individuals and households to become more self-sufficient in supporting their families, thus limiting their exposure to protection concerns.

After completing the training, Ibrahim was given a business grant of NGN 120,000 (approximately €282) in November 2019. Ibrahim used the grant to set up a shop selling cloth and fabric. Just six months later, Ibrahim is turning a profit, making an average of 30,000 NGN (approximately €70) per month. DRC’s team at Mafa continues to work with Ibrahim, providing follow-up meetings and support to ensure the success of his business.

The income from Ibrahim’s shop means that his children no longer need to beg to support the family, and today, all of Ibrahim’s children are enrolled in school.

Thanks to his difficult personal experience of what it means to be vulnerable and in need of assistance, Ibrahim knows the needs of people at Mafa, and volunteered to become a protection community leader. Using the income from his shop, Ibrahim now supports an additional 12 vulnerable children, providing them with school materials, clothes and food.

“I appreciate DRC’s protection team – and DRC as a whole – for supporting me with a means to earn an income. My family’s emotional and mental wellbeing has improved so much since we started having a stable income. We have been managing our household needs consistently. I am also glad to be able to support other vulnerable members of my community,” said Ibrahim.