On Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th, November 2014, 1Ummah Charity, a subsidiary of 1Ummah Islamic Organization, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) based in Abuja, Nigeria’s Capital City, visited victims of insurgency in Yola, Adamawa State. Some of the victims or internally displaced persons were being catered for in camps around Yola (such as the NYSC camp in Jimeta), while others were in Communities scattered across Yola (such as Uro Hausa Village). Some of these communities were housing and catering toaround three to five hundred (300-500) persons, while the camps, as at the time we visited, had three thousand persons (3,000) resident in it.
These victims, who were mainly from villages and towns in the North-Eastern part of the Country, such as Gwoza, Madagalli, Mubi, Konduga, etc, in both Borno and Adamawa States, where the crisis has been most severe, gave harrowing narrations of their experiences while fleeing from the insurgents, leaving behind their homes, sources of livelihood, as well as family members. Their accounts were sources of inspiration, as their will to survive and be re-united with their families were heart-warming and sad at the same time. Some of these victims had gone through thick forests, mountainous terrains, and even crossed borders to neighbouring Countries like Cameroon, Chad and Niger, all on foot, before travelling down to the Camps.
While in the camps, they only experienced brief relief and succour from the long and strenuous journey, as the after-thought of their situation, and realization of the fact that they have no homes anymore, or family members have departed their sides through death sets in, they become depressed and despondent. But a statement often repeated, which gives them hope, “Allah na nan”, which is Hausa and translated means “God is here” or “God is with us”, leaves a glimmer of optimism on their faces, and it is this trait that has given them the determination to survive, move on and make the best of their circumstances.
We also came to know that twenty-five (25) women had given birth while in the camp, with the last of them giving birth the morning of our visit, while over twenty (20) more were expecting.
1Ummah Charity was set up by the 1Ummah Islamic Organization Executives in July 2014 to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to the less privileged, or those in emergency or crisis areas, regardless of their Religious, Regional or Tribal affiliations. To this end, goods worth close to One million naira (N1, 000,000) were supplied and distributed to the IDP camp in Jimeta, as well as to those who were resident in Uro Hausa village. Another half a million naira (N500, 000) was also sent to Maiduguri, to aid victims of the insurgency there as well.
1Ummah Charity also has ongoing projects, such as providing free Educational Scholarships to 23 bright and intelligent children from extremely poor homes to support their Education (we hope to gradually increase this number to 1,000 in the next five (5) years), settling Medical bills of many patients in hospitals who don’t have the means to do so, providing assistance to Orphans and Widows, prisoner resuscitation (for those who were jailed for petty crimes like selling by the road-side/hawking, vulcanizers, etc), Medical Caravans (this involves going to remote areas and villages with a Medical Team of Doctors, Nurses and Pharmacists, and providing the residents with free Medical Services and Drugs), Education, etc.
As long as is required, 1Ummah Charity will continue to provide these services to all, as “Service to Humanity is service to God”. We pray for peace and prosperity to once again return to our Land, and the World at large.
Abubakar Sadiq Muhammad.
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