Nigeria. Alhaji: with carpentry I became happy and self-sufficient
30-06-2022 | di COOPI

Nigeria. Alhaji: with carpentry I became happy and self-sufficient

Alhaji Musa is 21 years old and lives in the Hausari ward in Geidam, Nigeria. He lost his father to the 2019 crisis in north-eastern Nigeria. Since then he has had to take on the role of breadwinner: "I have done several menial jobs to support my mother and brothers. I worked as a bricklayer, truck driver and labourer. It was not easy for us".

Then he met COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale, which, as part of the EU-funded project "BRICC - Supporting Rapid Recovery from Conflict and Building Resilience in Yobe State", promoted vocational training courses.

"So I decided to take advantage of the training course on furniture making. The COOPI instructor was very practical in demonstrating and training on how to maximise market potential, market strategies and how to retain customers. I developed an interest in furniture production because I wanted to be autonomous and help my younger siblings'.

"After the training provided by COOPI, I looked for a furniture expert at Geidam. I told him I wanted to work and learn under his guidance. He agreed and I started working with him. Within a few months, he asked me where I had learnt some of the skills I had; I told him that I had learnt them through COOPI's training and have been making furniture for customers ever since".

Alhaji now says he is happy because he feels responsible as a young man. The goal for his future now is to have capital to set up his own workshop, where he can employ young people like himself and train them: "I want to be self-sufficient and give work to my community".

COOPI has over the past year expanded its interventions to strengthen the resilience of more than 1,920 young people (974 males and 964 females) in north-east Nigeria, particularly in Yobe State. With the aim of providing vocational skills, COOPI implemented and developed training courses in areas such as tailoring, furniture making, cap making, car repair, telephone repair, bicycle repair and many others, which will enable the youth to be self-sufficient and take their rightful place in society.

In fact, the participation of young people in all aspects of society is very important, but unfortunately many of them are deprived of it due to factors such as conflicts, wars, lack of education and lack of capital. This situation has led them to play a limited role in decision-making processes or leadership programmes at local and national levels. 

Other success stories, such as that of Alhaji, are told in the Newsletter available as a download at the bottom of the page.

With the support of the European Union (EU), COOPI will continue to reach out to vulnerable young people in north-east Nigeria, like Musa, and help them develop their capacities through skills and trades that can improve their lives.


Photographs by: Daniel Ayodeji