Friday, November 6, 2015

Rebuilding Young Lives

You probably have heard of Boko Haram, the terrorist group that operate over Northern Nigeria. Their reign of terror has spread across North Africa, particularly over the last 6 years where the group has used bombing, assassinations and abductions to try and push their warped ideology.

Many children have been displaced by the group, and thousands have been orphaned.
The most notorious story of Boko Haram in recent years was the kidnapping of schoolgirls from Chibok, sparking the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. Nigerian armed forces have recently done a brilliant job of driving the group out of their strongholds in Northern Nigeria, but the repercussions from their actions are very much being felt by the families of their victims who have been left bereft.

Ripples Foundation’s CEO Anne Phillips visited a group of young boys who had been orphaned by Boko Haram’s violence, to see how they have started to recover. The children were introduced to us by the Kano State Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Welfare, who take responsibility of rehabilitating these boys. The children that met us were shellshocked. Many were in such a state of shock that they could not even speak to us because they were so traumatised. The truly brutal way in which these children lost their family members is often too horrific to describe, and we can hardly imagine the trauma they have been through. We have all heard about the activities of Boko Haram and the way that they terrorise their victims, but until you have seen the results in front of your eyes it is difficult to comprehend the impact this will have on these young boys. Many of these boys had to witness their parents being murdered right in front of them, images that will undoubtedly haunt them for the rest of their lives.

The refugee crisis has been dominating the news in recent months, but as Boko Haram activity has seemingly died down everyone seems to have forgotten about the people left behind who have to rebuild their shattered lives.

Ripples Foundation hasn’t forgotten. After visiting these children we decided that we just had to do something to help them. This month Ms Phillips will be visiting the group again to follow up on their progress and to give out donations of supplies such as clothing. We are looking to set up a programme to help this group of children and the countless other boys and girls who have been affected by the violence, in order to bring some hope and peace back into their young lives. Make sure to look out for more updates from our work for the children here, hopefully we will be able to put a smile back on their faces.

Although Ripples Foundation is focused on empowering the African village woman, we do run a number of programmes that also benefit the youth, including the Ripples Box and the Adopt A Village Programme. By empowering women we can ensure that their children grow up with an equal chance of education, healthcare and opportunities.

Can you help us continue to empower the youth of Africa? Donate towards Ripples Foundation projects today using Total Giving and help us make change happen today. 

*Please note that we are currently listed under the name BME Concern on the Total Giving platform. Ripples Foundation UK is the trading name of BME Concern, which is registered as a charity with the Charity Commission for England and Wales under number 1116698.
Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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