Faculty, staff and students of the American University of Nigeria distributed emergency relief aid to internally displaced persons at the St. Teresa’s Catholic Church, Jimeta, on Friday, October 3.
Also to ensure that the educational progress of children and young adults in the IDP camps is not disrupted, the AUN Academy, a leading provider of secondary school education in northeast Nigeria, on September 27, donated exercise books and other learning materials to the IDPs camp housing over 2,000 families at the NYSC camp in Yola.
The camp is under the supervision of the Adamawa Emergency Management Agency, ADSEMA.
President Margee Ensign, who led the AUN team, announced that the University was mobilizing 40 volunteers from among its faculty and schools to teach and offer ICT training in the IDP camps. She was joined by members of the Adamawa Peacemakers Initiative (API), a group of local community and religious leaders partnering the University in peace building and empowerment of at-risk youths.
The Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Bishop Stephen Mamza, received the items which include rice, maize, cooking oil, and clothing.
The relief aid was to cater for the additional 2,000 families which registered with the Church’s charity in the last few days, as Yola and Jimeta grapple with waves of families escaping the insurgency in Madagali, Mubi and the northern parts of Adamawa State.
Last month, the AUN-API team had made similar donations to the same Church where about 7, 500 people are taking refuge as well as the Yola Mosque, hosting thousands of families.
They donated foodstuffs and other supplies. Dr. Ensign said that AUN and API are honoured to support what the Bishop is doing with the displaced that have come from Madagali and Mubi. “We have pooled resources as one community to make sure that everyone (Muslims and Christians) have enough to eat, a place to stay, and a future. So we stand united to make sure that people’s needs are being met.”
The Secretary of the Adamawa Muslim Council and API stalwart, Dauda Bello, who offered prayers for the safety and wellbeing of the displaced persons at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church acknowledged AUN’s role of helping humanity.
He said the University has consistently shown concern for suffering people and praised the University, saying, “Their [AUN’s] concern is for humanity, not for Muslims or Christians; it is for all human victims of this calamity.”
Mr. Bello also called on every member of the society to assist the displaced in order to alleviate their sufferings. “I would like to call on everybody, not only the wealthy, because everyone has something to offer.”
The donations at the Yola Mosque were received by prominent community leader and former Executive Chairman of Yola South Local Government, Hamidu Usman Arabo, who expressed gratitude to AUN for supporting the local community in times of need.
At the NYSC camp being managed by ADSEMA, the AUN/API team rendered expertize in improving the sanitary condition in the camp by helping to construct 25 latrines – 15 for women and ten for men.
The Executive Secretary to ADSEMA, Haruna Hamma-Furo, also praised the AUN-API gesture.
“This great moment is one of the best things you can give to somebody. If you give somebody food, he eats it and after sometime he forgets it. But if you develop him, you’ve given him life. Here at the camp we’ve gone beyond thinking of feeding. We are now after their [refugees’] career.”
He noted that the bulk of the displaced is made up of women and children. Their education is of paramount interest. “These are the future leaders of tomorrow. If you disrupt their education, it is going to tell on them….”
The team had extended similar gestures to victims in the past. In April 2014, API-AUN took aid to Bole and Lelewaji (Yola settlements) for people displaced by violent attacks in Borno and Yobe states. The delegation was received by the Chief of Bole, Abdulmumin Abubakar.
In March 2014, President Ensign led the team to Mubi, where people fleeing terror violence in Borno and Yobe states, were housed. The delegation also paid homage to the Mubi emir, Abubakar Isah Ahmadu.
In February 2014, API-AUN took humanitarian aid to families that fell victim to violent attacks in Madagali and Toungo LGAs, both in Adamawa State. In API’s formative days, January 2102, an API-AUN team took supplies to victims of the flood disaster that hit Adamawa, submerging many households in Numan and the surrounding area.