Credit: IOM/Monica Chiriac
“They call me an internally displaced person. Most people here have fled Boko Haram violence, but they come from different parts of the country or even Nigeria; some are internally displaced, some refugees and others returnees. Here you can find people of all ethnicities: Peuhl, Haoussa, Berri berri, Touareg, Peuhls Mbororo.
There were 250 people in my village. We used to see Boko Haram roaming around our village all the time, but they never actually came inside the village. However, because we all lived in fear that something might happen to us one day, we decided to leave. I left with my nine children and my husband and came to Diffa.
When we first arrived, we got in touch with the authorities and they showed us this site where we could live. As soon as we arrived, IOM built us an emergency shelter and I couldn’t have been happier with it. I have now been living here for 14 months.
The hardest part about living in Diffa is that there is no work for people. There are at least 10 neighborhoods on this site so finding work for everyone is quite a challenge. Women try to fend for themselves by finding small jobs like making soap or sewing. Back home, we were all used to livestock breeding so it’s a big change for us.
I was elected as the women’s president for this site so I often organize meetings and activities for women. It can get boring at times to be in this constant state of waiting so we just talk the days away.
I always try to look at the bright side, and the bright side is that all of my children are in good health and go to school. If the state told me tomorrow that I could go back, I would, but they won’t because it’s not safe yet.”