Due to increasing security risks in Niger we are not able to implement the project in Abala and Mangaizé Refugee Camps as planned. The refugee camp Mentao, where we are imple- menting the project, is located in Burkina Faso, and hosts 16, 546 Malian refugees. There are approximately 2,050 youth between the ages of 12-17 in Mentao of which we will work with 36. The camp community and these youth present the same needs as in Abala and Mangaize camps because they came from the same conflict in Mali and have had similar experiences. Although there are more secondary schools available for these older youth, most of them are truant and in need of engaging and positive activities. Mentao and Burkina Faso in general do not have the security concerns of the presence of Islamic militants which Niger has. We are partnering with IEDA Relief who are able to provide the logistical support we need to implement this project. Our timeline for implementation was delayed due to these major changes and started November 1st and will continue through the end of January. We’re excited that our project will go on with the same population without the risks that would have been associated with working in Niger.
More updates from on the ground with Project Director Christina Mallie will be coming soon!