Modupe Ozolua’s Mission: Empower the Survivors of Boko Haram
They’ve seen the horror of watching as their family members are murdered and their villages destroyed. Now, as the displaced victims of Boko Haram struggle with life in overcrowded refugee camps, one woman, Modupe Ozolua works to create a path for these survivors to empower and rebuild their lives.
For most people in America, the terror reign of Boko Haram is something they hear about from afar. But Ozolua wants the public worldwide to better understand the nightmare–and to help those living through it.
It’s been going on more the better part of a decade. The terrorist group has destroyed villages throughout northern Nigeria and abducted more than 2,000 women and girls. Earlier this month, a group of nearly 700 women and girls who were held hostage in the Sambisa Forest were freed, but now join the thousands of other victims in displacement camps across Nigeria. The camps provide supplies to displaced persons including mattresses, food, and clothing. Unfortunately, the Nigerian federal government can only sustain the displacement camps for so long.
While the camps provide the basic necessities, they do not provide the basic tools women and girls need to survive once the camp is shutdown. Most Nigerian women are uneducated and have never held a job. Without a home or source of income, they are not able feed themselves or their families. Modupe Ozolua hopes to change that.
The International Business Times reports on Ozolua’s effort to help empower the survivors. While visiting refugee camps in northern Nigeria, Ozolua learns the skills and needs of the survivors in hopes to provide them with the tools necessary to put their skills to use. Those who knew how to sew received a sewing machine and a small amount of money in order to start a business. For those who had no home to return to, they received money to rent a house. “Our priority is the women. We want them to be self-sufficient,” says Ozolua, who also sponsored schooling for young children at one of the camps she visited.
As supplies runs out for Boko Haram survivors and other displaced persons, worldwide help is more crucial than ever. The efforts of Ozolua’s organization is just the start to creating a successful path for the women of Nigeria.
To find out more about Modupe Ozolua’s efforts or to contribute to the cause, visit Ozolua’s Go Fund Me page for the Boko Haram survivors.