Located 60 kilometres from Maradi, the village of Tankama is now home to more than 1,400 refugees who fled from northern Nigeria. These refugees, like Tassiou and his family, received with open arms the hospitality of the host populations who shared their available resources with them. With a growing number of incoming refugees, the demand for food resources available from host villages has been rising steadily. Stocks and supplies of most households in this area had become insufficient to meet refugees' needs.
‘’My name is Tassiou, I am 35 years old and I have four children. We were attacked by armed bandits in our village. They even killed some people and took away our animals. We fled and came to Niger where we have been well received by the population. We left all our belongings behind. We felt that we had become a very big burden to the local population; the situation had become very difficult. Those who host us had no choice but to share what they had with us, while there was not enough food for their own families. Children were sad because they were hungry and we parents were worried’’, recalls Tassiou.
Through the Aktion Deutschland Hilft Fund (ADH), the aim of World Vision's office in Niger was to allow beneficiary households like Tassiou’s and his community to access nutritious local food accepted by the cluster as the minimum packet of household needs. For four months, the project provided millet, beans, oil and other foodstuffs. Today, the community can smile again.
“Now I see a great change in our lives. We have enough food for the whole family,” rejoices Tassiou. “This contribution has helped us a lot and our children are doing well. We are peaceful and we thank this project for its support. We are happy. God bless it."
The father of four adds: "When we arrived in Niger, we weren't even wearing shoes or hijabs, some even came in shorts. We were hungry. We give thanks to the people in the village who shared their food. I was very scared and traumatised by the gunshots. Many a nights, I had nightmares."
Eight-year-old Djamila, Tassiou’s daughter, chime in: "We are now joyful, we eat very well, and we are not hungry like before. We thank this project, which gave our parents food.’’
During the past four months, 351 refugee and host households were identified through a community participatory process to receive food vouchers through weekly rounds of food distributions. Targeted households, in turn, exchange vouchers with local merchants contracted for the project.