Young Widows Recovery Seminar

Suzan Mark

Earlier this year, EYN women’s ministry, under the leadership of Suzan Mark, held a seminar for young widows. There are over 4000 young widows in Northeast Nigeria as a direct result of the men killed by the Boko Haram Insurgency. This special seminar was held for 100 young widows that have little children and have no source of income. They were selected from 19 most affected DCCs as follows. Wagga, Madagali, Midlu, Gulak Ribawa, Bikama, Hong, Gombi, Gulantabal, Garkida, Kwajaffa, Lassa, Mussa, Askira, Mbalala, Balgi,Kautikari, Chibok and Dille.

Here are some of the things accomplished by the seminar along with concerns and recommendations for the future. Please pray for these widows and their children.


  1. 99 came and received training in income generation skills.
  2. All were give N40,000 ($115) in seed grant money to start businesses.
  3. They were also taught simple health tips and child protection messages.
  4. They all received lessons on HIV (some were tested). This was done in collaboration with EYN HIV Program.

Widow’s Seminar

Challenges Experienced

  1. All the young widows at all the workshops lost their husbands as a result of the insurgency.
  2. Most women that were captured by Boko Haram have been refused by their husbands along with the children they had during captivity.
  3. Some women treat such children with hatred, for they see the children as the cause of the disgrace.
  4. Both the women and the children have not gained full acceptance in their communities.
  5. Many girls had babies as the result of rape and sexual exploitation during the insurgency.
  6. Number of widows, orphans and other vulnerable children is increasing daily.
  7. All the widows are in need of “Self-care.”


  1. There is need to create awareness on the treatments of the escaped women and their children in order to gain acceptance in their communities.
  2. The case of rape should be taken serious because it is a crime.
  3. There is need for counseling for the above mentioned women including girls and children victims.
  4. They need to be empowered economically and socially.
  5. There is a need for advocacy for gender justice. Women celebrate release of their husbands while men refused the coming back of their wives.

Women in Yola participate in workshops for Gender Based Violence and Empowerment

Registration for the workshop

Registration for the workshop

In late November 225 women participated in 3 workshops held in the Yola area. The workshops were put on through one of our sponsored NGO’s, Women and Youth Empowerment for Advancement and Health Initiative.



Training/support on sexual gender-based violence against Women (SGBVAW) and Girls on the Move and Empowering Them for Better living.

Session on Gender Based Violence

Session on Gender Based Violence

Samuel Yaumande delivered a lecture on SGBVAW. He also pointed out that about 75% to 80% of refugees in the world are women and children. Girls make up 2/3 of the 130 million children who don’t attend school. 2/3 of the women in the world are illiterate. In addition, young ladies at the age of 13 – 18 years are forced to marry and give birth at a very young age.


Other sessions of the workshops taught on what trauma is and how it affects us. Women were also enlightened on the value of a small business enterprise. They were encouraged to form groups to help one another in their business ventures. Sessions also included record keeping and  the value of good communication/advertising.

Muslims and Christians were encouraged to participate.

Participants –  both Muslims and Christians 

One of the particapants, Lami John, appreciated the effort of WYEAHI for the great support rendered to them to enable them  to engage themselves in petty business for the sustainability of their families. Some financial assistance was given to each participant.