Niger: Helping children fleeing from violence

Children at one of the 'Child Friendly Centres' set up by CARE for refugee children in Diffa, Niger

Garin Wazam is a village in eastern Niger where CARE works to protect refugee children who have fled from conflict in Nigeria. CARE set up a ‘Child Friendly Space’ in the village to help children overcome the trauma they experienced living under and fleeing from the violent attacks of armed groups in the region.

Many children and their families lack a source of income and are struggling to meet their basic daily needs. So CARE has also set up a canteen to provide children with breakfast (millet porridge) and lunch (rice and cowpea). Alliah Keloumi, one of the volunteer cooks, says:

The children are happy to have breakfast together. It is priceless to see their smiles and their happiness.

Alliah was born and raised in Nigeria but her family is originally from Niger, and she returned to Garin Wazam when her marriage broke down. She has a three-year-old boy and a one-year-old girl. She is grateful to have found refuge and a job here in Niger, and says:

For me, the most striking fact is that CARE does not discriminate between refugees, returnees, displaced persons and host communities and has succeeded in bringing everyone together in joy and without fighting.

The next step is for people to be able to begin to provide for themselves and their families again. “People had to leave everything behind in Nigeria, so they need an income again and need to rebuild their lives,” she says, adding:

Now that all the children of Garin Wazam can fill their stomachs, we must also find a way to feed the adults. 

Story by Rakietou Hassane Mossi, Media and Communication Officer for CARE Niger

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.