The Victims Support Fund (VSF) has empowered 1,500 women shattered by the Boko Haram insurgency in Yobe state northeast Nigeria.
Benefiting communities were drawn from Gujba and Gulani local government areas worst hit by the rebellion as they converged on Bara the Local Government areas of the state.
The 1,500 beneficiaries were given N20,000 each to start various trades.
The selected women were organized into savings and loan scheme and will work with cooperative associations for the success of the programme.
They were trained in different trades such as poultry production, soap making, knitting, cap making as well as groundnut oil production.
The VSF identified the beneficiaries based on their situations ranging from loss of husband, children, means of livelihood and poverty level among others.
Addressing the gathering, the Executive Director of Victim Support Programme, Professor Sunday Ochoche, said that the trust fund would work assiduously towards providing a solid means of livelihood for the returnees.
He also promised that “their critical economic challenges will also be addressed” and challenged the beneficiaries to “properly utilize the funds to scale up their businesses so as to help improve the lives of women generally”.
The Executive Director also revealed that the trust fund would soon return to the state for the rebuilding of Buniyadi.
“I wish to inform you that the Victims Support Fund (VSF) will soon return to Yobe state to flag off the rebuilding of Buniyadi, the capital of Gujba Local Government Area of the state.
“During the period we will engage in rebuilding destroyed houses such as the hospitals, the Local Government secretariat among several others” the Executive Director said.
The Yobe state Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, represented at the occasion by the Commissioner of Women Affairs, Hajara Lawan commended the trust fund for coming to the aid of the distressed women.
He also praised other donor agencies for their various contributions in uplifting the conditions of the people.
The gravity of destruction caused to the state, according to the Governor, required huge support. He promised that his administration would continue to partner with relevant bodies to actualize the resettlement agenda.
“We wish to inform the VSF and the general public that the insurgency really affected us but together with the federal government, donor agencies among several others, we were able to come to the aid of the affected persons.
“I also wish to thank everybody who contributed and is contributing to the well-being of the displaced persons as a result of the Boko Haram insurgency,” The Governor said.
Some women at the occasion Halima Joda, Farida Yashe and Hauwa Howeidy expressed happiness for the gesture and praised the efforts of VSF for the initiative, describing the women empowerment gesture as magnanimous.
The VSF later visited selected farms cultivated by some returnees under the Agricultural Support Programme initiated by the trust fund.
VSF had given the chosen farmers fertilizer, and seedlings among other imputes at the beginning of the last raining season as a way of kick starting their means of livelihood.
The Executive Director expressed joy with the yield saying it has actually achieved the desired results.