This is a story about how Yagana Modu, 12, went from being displaced
and homeless over insecurity in her north-east Nigerian community, Kopa, to having
an assured future as a teacher. “I just want to share knowledge. That is why I want to be a teacher,”shy Yagana said.
The insurgency which started in the region in July 2009, has displaced millions
of people, rendering many homeless.
Her enrolment into a school in Kopa, a small community on the outskirts of
Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria, is a safety net from homelessness and all the
traumas and health problems that come with it. She been out of school for six
years. Yagana whose mother is late and whose father’s whereabouts is unknown, now
has a new family, friendships, and learning opportunities as well as healing
from the traumas of a lost family and that of armed conflicts.
She once lived in the Stadium IDP camp in Maiduguri in 2019, after fleeing
the armed uprising. Then, she was very small and homeless. While the camp was
inhabited by displaced people fleeing conflict from far communities, Kopa
people made the majority.
In 2021, when the Borno State Government instructed that closure of the camp,
the Kopa people relocated to Konduga, another community on the outskirts of
Maiduguri, the capital city. But that became the onset of another displacement them, as insecurity was rife in Konduga, forcing them to return to their original
community, Kopa, which they had initially fled from. All this while, Yagana,
like many other children, was unaccompanied. However, a good Samaritan took her
in with his family, as witnessed by Yusuf Alhaji Said. Adoption is one good way
good Samaritans end the homelessness of children and sometimes youths.
Kopa has only one school, Kopa Learning Centre. With the support of its School-based Management Committee (SBMC), Yusuf was able to convince Yagana’s guardian to enroll her in school. Supported by UNICEF through the Partnership for Learning for All in Nigerian Education (PLANE) project of the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the school provides quality education services for
formerly displaced children.
Yagana has not only been saved from homelessness, but also an out-of-school
life which 1.3m children in Borno State are still experiencing due to conflict.
One disadvantage of homelessness is the risk of not having education for
children, as a lack of a home, a permanent location, money, and general
convenience can make it impossible or difficult. Is it any wonder then that more
than half of the displaced children across Nigeria’s north-east region do not
attend school? Added to that, a majority of those in school are not accessing
Congratulations to Yagana on her new family and her dreams and endeavours on becoming a passionate teacher.
Story source: UNICEF