The Conover + Gould team will be donating to ten causes in the spirit of giving back during the holiday season. During December and January, each team member will be blogging about their chosen nonprofit. For her gift, Carly chose the American University of Nigeria Foundation's Humanitarian Aid Campaign.
This year, I chose to highlight the American University of Nigeria Foundation (AUNF) and the work they do to provide humanitarian aid to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria. AUNF, an U.S. based 501(c)3 nonprofit, raises funds for the American University of Nigeria (AUN) to provide an education for vulnerable Nigerian youth and humanitarian assistance to survivors of Boko Haram violence.
Nearly 2.4 million men, women, and children have been displaced by local extremist group, Boko Haram. Sixty percent, or 1.4 million, of these IDPs are children. What can be more staggering than to know that the average length of displacement is 17 years. Plus, the overall environment of Nigeria further exacerbates this situation through food insecurity across the region and limited access to education, child protection and health services. These children may grow up without ever having consistent or safe food and water, a stable place to live, health care, or education. Because of these conditions, they may be vulnerable to exploitation or recruitment by Boko Haram, and the circle of violence will continue.
AUN has continued to support IDPs in Yola, Nigeria – where the campus is located – by providing humanitarian assistance and implementing development programs for education, peacebuilding, women’s empowerment, and employment. Recently, AUN provided basic relief to 75,000 IDPs, but these supplies will only last for a few more months.
In working with AUNF (the American University of Nigeria is a C+G client), I have gained a deeper appreciation for what IDPs go through after such terrible events, as well as a greater understanding of the complexities that encompass Nigeria.
More is needed beyond humanitarian aid. IDPs need development programs that can provide access to education, a stable living environment, and much more. But they absolutely must have food, water, and other basic necessities in order to live.
To donate to this organization, click here.