Threading the Path to Financial Stability
Yobe State is one of the areas affected by conflict and the humanitarian crisis in the Northeast region of Nigeria. The region has about 1.9 million children in need of educational support and due to the conflict, families have reduced access to jobs and trading opportunities to support themselves and remain resilient as they face unpredictable occurrences around them, therefore, sending children to school has taken the back burner. Families still need to buy food and lead normal lives as much as possible.
As part of the EU Support to Early Recovery from Conflict and Resilience Building in Yobe State, there is an effort towards improving the livelihoods and income generating activities of families within the state, providing training and goods to support them in generating revenue from trading and other activities to support their children and families in general. This project seeks to provide necessary skills for up to 3,500 women and youths to support their income and market opportunities; it also seeks to provide support through training, inputs and varied support for up to 5,000 vulnerable and displaced households to restart agricultural livelihoods and other businesses.
Falmata Usman Kachallah (38), sews local northern Nigerian hats, native to the Northeast of the country. Before experiencing SCI’s intervention, she could not make as many hats as she wanted, “I had to buy little bits of thread and other materials a little at a time and sew just a few hats at a time”. Inadequate funds to purchase materials for the hats meant she was not able to produce hats and sell them for profit.
As one of the beneficiaries of this support, Falmata was previously completely reliant on her husband but explains she is now able to pay for some expenses within her household, such as buying soap to wash her children’s uniforms so they can have clean clothes when they go to school and even invest more of her profits into other small trades, to enable her become more financially stable.
The materials provided through the EU Resilience Project, help her to comfortably sew hats at any location of her choice and continue to build her income over time, creating more opportunities for her to thrive in business and provide for herself and her household. With the support provided by Save the Children and funding from the European Union, Falmata is now more productive and plans to explore more trade and business opportunities.
According to Falmata, “there has definitely been a significant change in my life because of the support provided to me. Before getting the support, I could only make one part of the hat, but after receiving the materials from SCI, I decided to learn how to make the entire hat by myself. I never have to spend any money on buying the raw materials anymore. When I was buying materials myself, I could barely make one hat in good time and I’d often have to stop making a hat midway because I could not afford to buy more thread. I’d have to wait until whenever I could get more money before I could finish the hat. Now I use the materials donated to me to make hats easily and in a timely manner. I can now create many hats and even keep them readily available for sale, this has changed my life. I am so thankful to the EU and Save the Children for the help"
By Maryam Laushi