More than half of the million displaced people in Nigeria are children. In Yola alone, there are 2,000 orphans and 10,000 displaced children who have been separated from their families because of the Boko Haram insurgency. There are also an estimated 40,000 “Almajiri” children living on the streets of Yola – some of the nine million young boys aged 5 to 18 across Nigeria who have been sent by their families to study at a Qur’anic school, most of which are unregulated by the government and attended by children from Nigeria’s poorest, illiterate families and nomadic farming communities.

They spend their days begging for food and scraps. Coming from the most disadvantaged families, they are mostly illiterate and at risk of being recruited into Boko Haram or trafficked. All of these boys and girls are in desperate need of consistent food aid and education to give them hope for the future.

With the support of the local Muslim leaders and traditional rulers, as well as members of the Adamawa Peace Initiative, AUN has established a pilot program in Yola, “Feed and Read,” to provide displaced, orphaned, and Almajiri children a daily meal and to teach them basic literacy and numeracy.

Feed and Read provides a daily meal and a sachet of water to every child in the program. The meal consists of rice, beans and spaghetti. Over 85% of these children have intestinal parasites and infections because of the unhygienic way they eat food with their unwashed hands. To combat this, all of the children receive a set of bath soaps and detergent, and they are required to bathe and wash their clothes if they wish to attend a meal or class. AUN’s program also provides plates, cups and cutlery that are cleaned before and after each meal. This encourages them to maintain their personal hygiene and health – many had not washed themselves for month prior to attending the Feed and Read program.

Every child receives a meal but participating in the educational program is optional. Those who do participate receive clothes collected as donations from the AUN community. The education program splits the students into four groups based on age, and the week is split by day into English and Math classes, with time for sports to build teamwork skills, storytime to improve comprehension, and community service projects to strengthen their sense of community and belonging.

Attendance is growing fast, with half of the 200 children who regularly receive meals consistently attending classes.

It costs very little to feed one child their only meal of the day or to give them the tools to learn to read. Please donate to this program by clicking the button below the chart. The following chart provides an overview of the cost for tutoring, food, and school supplies to support a child for a month and for 6 months in US Dollars and Nigerian Naira.