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Education Cannot Wait to support Global Survivors Fund with grant in Nigeria

Press Release / Nigeria 5 December 2023

Date and time

01:00 - 01:00

Location

New York – In northeast Nigeria, fourteen years of violence by the insurgency group Boko Haram has left a painful and lasting mark on the childhoods, safety and education of countless girls and women, with schools and family homes being regularly targeted by attacks and mass kidnappings.

To support the learning and wellbeing of survivors of conflict-related sexual violence and children born of war in this region, Education Cannot Wait (ECW) announced today a US$325,000 grant to the Global Survivors Fund (GSF). This 12-month Acceleration Facility grant will reach survivors, as well as their children and families, in states affected by Boko Haram’s violence and support their access to holistic, quality education.

"Sexual violence is too often used as a weapon of war and terror in crisis contexts around the world. It is appalling, unacceptable and a severe breach of the law. Every girl and boy deserves protection from sexual violence and they have a right to be safe to learn, develop and reach their full potential. Education Cannot Wait is honored to partner with the Global Survivors Fund to provide safe, inclusive, and gender-responsive quality education services co-created with survivors of Boko Haram’s despicable sexual violence. Our investments provide reparative measure so they can heal, learn, gain skills, and be empowered to reimagine their futures, free of terror and stigmatization. Together, ECW and GSF will work with survivors to ensure they get a new chance in life,” said Yasmine Sherif, Executive Director of Education Cannot Wait, the global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises.

Launched by Nobel Peace Prize laureates Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, GSF’s mission is to enhance access to reparations for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence around the world.

 

Children affected by conflict-related sexual violence represent a largely invisible community and their specific rights and needs are overlooked in reparation initiatives worldwide.

— Nadia Murad, Co-founder, GSF

Through this partnership, ECW will support GSF to implement its core mission of co-creation with survivors, who determine what reparations means to them, and how they want their reparative measures to be defined and implemented. The initiative also aims to raise national and international awareness of the importance and impact of providing education as a form of reparation to these affected populations in Nigeria.

"Children affected by conflict-related sexual violence represent a largely invisible community and their specific rights and needs are overlooked in reparation initiatives worldwide. For these children, the profound physical, psychological and socio-economic consequences, as well as their strained relationships with family and community, have life-altering outcomes. They often drop out of school and face obstacles in re-entering the education system. This partnership with Education Cannot Wait will help GSF’s project for child victims of Boko Haram. These children need to finally go back to school and receive the necessary support to start healing," said Nadia Murad, Co-Founder of the Global Survivors Fund.

After their release or escape, Boko Haram survivors experience revictimization and stigmatization in their communities. They’re often viewed as tainted, or labeled “Boko Haram wives” and assumed to carry the ideologies of the insurgent group. Their children are also cast off, and not allowed to associate with other children. Every part of their lives – social, educational and economic – is severely disrupted.

Through all of this, education stands as a right and form of reparation which can enable these women and girls to reintegrate in society, build life skills and transform their futures. As well as supporting their academic journeys, this new grant will also ensure survivors have regular visits with mental health and psychosocial support case workers, supporting their psychological – as well as their social and academic – recovery.

This investment demonstrates ECW’s commitment to reaching those left furthest behind in crises, and is also in line with the Fund’s gender transformative approach to education in emergencies and protracted crises and localisation agenda. GSF will directly implement the initiative in Nigeria, in partnership with two local organizations – the Centre for Girl Child Education and the Youth Initiative Against Terrorism.

ECW’s Acceleration Facility funding mechanism is dedicated to supporting the creation of global public goods and resources for the education in emergencies sector. This latest grant brings total ECW investments through its Acceleration Facility window to over US$26 million, and is a key part of ECW’s Strategic Plan to mobilize US$1.5 billion over the next three years to reach 20 million crisis-affected children.

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