ICC Note: A local baker in northeastern Nigeria has taken it upon himself to provide shelter and a means to work for many young boys and other victims of Boko Haram.
Most of the boys are from families of bakers in the region who were either kidnapped or killed by the Islamist group. The modest bakery does not seem to be much with its single brick chimney, but it provides a place for those escaping the violence of Islamic extremism and an opportunity to contribute. The baker receives no support from the government as all of the support he provides is personally funded.
Many of those displaced by Boko Haram have been from Christian communities as they continue to be systematically targeted for kidnapping,rape, and murder.
Nigeria (BBC)- Behind the rusting walls of a Nigerian bakery, young boys forced out of their homes by Boko Haram, have found refuge. They are the sons of bakers killed or kidnapped by the insurgents and brought together by one man’s kindness.
“Have you heard about the baker and the displaced people?” I thought it was the start of a bad gag when my Nigerian friend asked me that. We were having a drink in a hotel in Maiduguri, Boko Haram’s former stronghold.
Turns out, it wasn’t a joke at all. He’d heard about a local bakery that had become a sort of refuge for people displaced by Boko Haram attacks. Trying to find it was easier said than done.
Maiduguri is a large city, the capital of Borno state, and I only had vague directions to the bakery. When I got to where I thought it should be,I didn’t see any buildings that looked like a bakery.
No sign, no telltale sacks of flour. Car fumes from the busy road overpowered any possible scent of baked bread. But then I saw it – a building with rusting, corrugated metal walls, and on top of the roof a brick chimney pot emitting a thin line of smoke. Something was cooking.
Inside, the baker came over, holding his fist against his chest in a traditional, polite greeting. He was tall, in his late 50sand was smartly dressed in a knee-length cotton shirt and loose trousers – it was Friday afternoon and he had just come from the mosque.
Pray for safety for all victims of insurgency!
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