Nigeria – May 17 2018

A family of six gets back on its feet in Nigeria

Ayomide and her children lived in two small rooms in their village near Gwagwalada, a suburban district of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. After Ayomide’s husband died in 2007, she struggled to make ends meet and provide for her five children. With family strengthening support, she has been able to build a more stable home and future for her children.

When Ayomide’s husband died in 2007 the loss was devastating. To support her family, she took a job with a local primary school, but the salary was not enough to take care of the family’s needs.

She resigned and started small-scale farming with the help of her five children, four boys and a girl. The family lived in two small rooms in their village near Gwagwalada, a suburban district of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

Water was always a concern. On days when water was scarce, they had to struggle alongside other community members to get water from a few privately-owned boreholes. Sometimes conflict over resources and the increased incidences of destruction of farmland by herdsmen made farming difficult for Ayomide’s family. She could not manage to provide enough food for her children.

Rising beyond limitations

After two years of struggling to make ends meet, she was referred to SOS Children’s Villages which had just started its outreach in her community as part of its family strengthening work.

The team supported her with food items, payment of school fees for her children and payment of medical bills. With the SOS team’s assistance, Ayomide got access to a community-based savings and loans group, training in basic book-keeping and entrepreneurship, as well as support with supplies for her income-generating project. As a result, Ayomide was able to rise beyond her former limitations to meet the needs of her family.

The family, also in need of emotional care, received counselling, childcare, parenting and life skills training from SOS Children’s Villages.

“These efforts helped me and my children to cope emotionally and strengthened our determination to succeed in life. I learnt about the importance of hygiene for myself and my family and the importance of their education,” says Ayomide.

Visible changes in the family

Apart from the income Ayomide gets from her farm, she also works as a poultry keeper, receiving a monthly salary whilst learning the trade in the process.

Ayomide’s family now lives in a three-roomed house, has access to health care and eats three meals a day.

Her oldest son has graduated from the University of Abuja and her only daughter started training to become a tailor. The daughter loves sports and represented her school in several competitions. Another son has completed his secondary education with good grades and hopes to study geography or social studies. Her two youngest boys are also doing well at school and are keen footballers.

Many members of the community are encouraged by the success Ayomide has attained in her efforts to raise her children. Her children’s behaviour and performance both at school and in social settings have been well reported by teachers and observers.

She has become a role model for many caregivers in her community and shares her knowledge of childcare and parenting. She also encourages women to take the education of their children seriously.

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