Lately, it has become impossible to go to the farm due to the activities of Boko Haram insurgents, because when people go to the farm, they either get kidnapped, killed, indoctrinated or kept in the camp for various ulterior motives.
As a result of the loss of their farmlands and security issues in their community, Mary and her family were finding it difficult to feed until she was selected as one of the beneficiaries of the Caritas Nigeria livelihoods intervention. Initially, she was doubtful that the support would actually come to them because she has never participated nor experienced such livelihoods support before, however, she still provided the required information to the project team during the assessment.
Consequently, and to her amazement, Mary was invited to UBA, Mubi branch 2 weeks later, to go claim her Beneficiary Card which qualifies her to have access to receive the cash transfer of N47, 500 each in three (3) tranches. Mary’s joy knew no bounds on the day she received the cash transfer, in her words she stated, “In my entire life, I have never received such an amount of money for free just to support my family and me, without having anything to offer like labour or time”.
With the cash transfer received, Mary was able to buy some foodstuff for her home and also bought 2 sheep (1 male; 1 female) to start a livestock business. She has been raring these sheep for some months and they are now mature and ready for sale. As is common with most women in her community, she intends to sell the sheep, make a profit from this and plough the money back into the business to increase her earnings.
In addition to the farming business, Mary Idi and her son are also engaged in buying and selling sugarcane, from which they make a profit of N2,000 ($7) weekly. She also channelled part of the cash transfer received and the profits from sugarcane into crop production. During a discussion with Mary “I am happy because I know I am gradually developing myself with multiple sources of income to cater for my household needs. Now we feed better and we can take care of our basic needs like healthcare and education. I am very grateful to Caritas and the donor for this life-saving intervention. May God continue to protect and bless you”.
This intervention is the Relief Aid for victims of the Boko Haram crisis in the Northern regions of Nigeria and Cameroun and the west of Chad. It is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office (FFO), through Caritas Germany.
By Thomas Haliru