The jihadist attack and the future of Niger’s children
After fleeing their sparsely populated village under threat from jihadists, a woman named Aichata Hassan faces a new challenge to prove her 12-year-old daughter’s existence. his age with the government.
Like countless other children in Niger, Nadira did not have a birth certificate and was unable to enroll in secondary school when she and her family arrived in their new home.
Drought-stricken Niger is the fastest growing country in the world in terms of population, and also the poorest, according to the United Nations Human Development Index.
Nearly half of the population of about 25 million are aged 15 and 40% of children are currently born without a valid birth certificate.
This is because poor families do not have the money and expenses to go to a government official far away to do the paperwork. As a result, many families did not register their babies within 60 days as required by law.
People without a birth certificate have no problem staying in their village community for life, but for migrants like Hasan and his family, it’s a headache.
Nadira’s 9-year-old sister, Zeniba, and 4-year-old brother, Abdo Karim, also do not have birth certificates.
The three brothers were born in a house in the small village of Elzou, west of Tillaberi, where no government official registered their births.
Burkina Faso, a village on the border between Mali and Niger, has seen an increase in jihadist attacks over the past five years. Last week, the Nigerien army killed 11 militants in the area, arrested six, seized weapons and destroyed more than 130 motorbikes, the Niger Defense Minister announced. The area has seen insurgents with links to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.
The rebels entered Alzou on motorbikes, taking away some livestock first. But then they killed the village chief.
The situation forced Hasan to flee on foot with his children, who had walked 20 miles to the town of Sakoira. Nadira, Zineba and Abdo Karim plan to enroll in a local school.
An outdated documentary culture
But not having a birth certificate proves to be an insurmountable problem when Nadia enrolls in her first year of high school.
Idrissa Ilirasso, a rural education consultant with 30 years of experience, said: “Most students are in this situation.
“Children without birth certificates will not be able to be registered when they become adults. They will become outcasts,” he said. In Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world, creating a registration document is also the biggest challenge.
“Our culture is paper-based, but it’s outdated. We should use computers,” said country manager Ibrahim Manlangoni.
With the support of the international community, Niger is trying to solve this problem.
cognitive performance and computer use; Festivals and NGO activities have all started. “We want to pursue many of these measures to achieve as much as possible our goal of getting the entire population to school by 2030,” Manlangoni said.
Niger has so far registered 60% of all births, but that still leaves 4 out of 10 children unrecognized by the state. Until then, the birth registration rate was only 30% in 2007, he said, adding that registration has now reached an extraordinary level.
Sign up to enroll in the school. open a bank account; Required to vote or pass a police check. bring hope
Jan Eland, general secretary of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), said: “Getting citizenship and birth certificates is a prerequisite for everything.
Niger’s problem can be solved with little money, he said.
“Our job is to give hope. Do we want these young people to be the next entrepreneurs, including the green energy sector that we are desperate for.