Story of Abdou
Abdou is a member of the Husband’s School, a group created by Save the Children Niger, a member of the More Than Brides Alliance (MTBA). Through the Husband School, Abdou has attended many training sessions and participated in activities to support his community. Since MTBA has come to Abdou’s community, he has noticed many positive changes. For example, the bridge classes provided to out-of-school children has helped many to return to school, which has helped increase the level of enrollment for girls. Additionally, attendance at women’s health centers has increased and many girls have learned life-based skills through apprenticeships. Personally, Abdou has noticed an improvement in his relationships with his wife and children.
The Husband’s School helped sensitize Abdou to identify problems within his community. The group then meets to decide what issues to work on. In these meetings, they also evaluate upcoming marriages and identify who is too young to be married. The Husbands meet with adolescent’s parents to try to convince them to delay the marriage.
When COVID-19 hit, Abdou says his family’s lives were turned upside down. MTBA partners provided handwashing kits and sensitization sessions on preventing the spread of the virus. Abdou himself conducted many awareness-raising sessions on the virus. However, Abdou told us that “There are still economic and social problems, because the coronavirus had blocked all activities.”
During the same period, there were floods in Niger that made the situation worse. The floods destroyed people’s houses and schools. Abdou’s children could not go to school and he could not go to the market where he made his income. Still, things have not returned to normal. Abdou said, “So far people are trying, but even access to food is still difficult.”