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To Fight or Flee?

Photo: Rakietou Hassane Mossi/CARE

Photo: Rakietou Hassane Mossi/CARE

Photo: Rakietou Hassane Mossi/CARE

The decision no 12-year-old should have to make.

When armed groups invaded her village in northeast Nigeria, Hadiza, 15, had two options before they burned it down: leave or join their terrorizing force. Armed groups killed her mother and father. Hadiza fled. Three years later, she lives in relative safety in another part of Nigeria. Her message to the world? Don’t give up on educating displaced girls, as learning enlightens them and gives them the knowledge, tools and confidence to stand up for themselves, even at times when it seems no one else will.

Now in its ninth year, the crisis in northeast Nigeria remains one of the most severe in the world. 3 million people are estimated to suffer from critical food insecurity. Large-scale displacements take place monthly. In many locations, resources are stretched too thin and security constraints pose a major challenge to the timely delivery of assistance.

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Hadiza, 15, is an orphan who takes care of her 3-year-old brother Abubakar.

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