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Abuja, Nigeria – In the final day of her Mission in Nigeria, the UN Secretary General’s Youth Envoy, Jayathma Wickramanayake paid a visit to the Waru Community in Abuja, an area where a considerable number of internally displace persons (from the Boko Haram insurgency) were resettling. A number of partners, including UNFPA in Nigeria are working with the community to ensure access to services and materials support to the displaced families.

The Waru community is unique with respect to the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons – IDPs – in Nigeria as it does not possess the structure of a conventional IDP camp. Rather, the displaced families are spread within other families in the community they reside with, while rebuilding their lives.

Speaking at the occasion was the traditional ruler of the community, Ibrahim Saraki, who welcomed the visit of the Envoy, calling her visit a “beacon of support and hope,” noting that there were over 1,600 IDPs in the area. In addition to this, more than 5000 recent arrivals have been welcomed in the community. and the approach of distributing the displaced among different families in the community made it easier for them to rebuild their lives.

The traditional ruler also outlined some of the biggest challenges of the community, while giving the Envoy a tour and speaking to children, young people and families. Most notably, the traditional ruler conveyed to the Envoy that the community has no secondary school, and would benefit enormously from such an intervention.

On her part, the Envoy thanked the community for their warm welcome, and expressed that she was encouraged by their drive and recognising education as a priority, despite the difficult conditions that they face. “I would speak on your behalf to the Global Partnership for Education, and explore how to get innovation centres in your community,” she said.

The UNFPA Deputy Country Representative, thanked the traditional ruler for the work he was championing in his community in assisting in the relocation and rehabilitation of IDPs. He handed a token donation from UNFPA to the IDPs.