A guest blog from our partner Christian Aid
Uprooted. Overlooked. Forced to flee. Ayuba Azagwu lives in Nigeria. Ayuba is a successful farmer and landlord from the village of Goza, he grows onions and red beans and employs labourers to tend to his crops. Ayuba also owns land in Maiduguri which, until recently, he used to rent out at a profit.
Hearing news of Boko Haram heading towards his village, Ayuba fled Goza. In his wake, Boko Haram burnt many homes, including three Ayuba had built himself. Ayuba found refuge in Maiduguri town, on the land he owned. He invited other members of his village to shelter with him, and today he’s hosting 58 people in his house. Ayuba is no longer able to farm his land because Boko Haram have made it unsafe to do so. Ayuba doesn’t ask for rent from those sheltering in his home because everyone has lost so much. Life is harder now and Ayuba, who was once wealthy, is now considered a “fourth man”, meaning poor man in his community. Despite this Ayuba is committed to supporting his people:
“They have no one else to help them but me, in the village I helped, and it’s an obligation for me to help.”
Ayuba is displaced but remains within his country, he didn’t leave Nigeria when he fled to safety, so he is denied the official protection afforded to refugees. He is ignored and overlooked by the international community.
Globally over 40 million people who’ve been forced to flee their homes are unable to cross a border. Like Ayuba, they aren’t getting the protection they need to live in safety as they are also denied the official protection afforded to refugees.
That’s 40 million people, who have fled their homes due to conflict, fear and climate change. Just think about that number for a moment.
40 million people.
If you read each displaced person’s name aloud it would take a year… if you didn’t stop to sleep.
Displacement leaves people like Ayuba without a safe home, but it also means that many people lose out on jobs and education. Displaced people are also put at an increased risk of violence.
So what are we going to do about it?
Christian Aid has supplied Ayuba and everyone living in his house with food for months, and International Medical Corps have built latrines. This is the only support Ayuba has received. At Christian Aid we believe the world needs to do better.
The UN is currently working hard on two new agreements on refugees and migration but neither tackle the problem of internal displacement.
We believe that everyone counts and that all people on the move should be protected from harm and have the chance to rebuild their lives, not just survive.
Will you join us to speak up for the rights of people like Ayuba?
Sign our petition here and join us at Greenbelt to hear more about our campaign through the untold stories of displaced people around the world.