Story by Rita Abiodun, Oxfam in Nigeria's Media and Communications Officer
“As a typical African, my wife loved traveling whether near or far just to attend family functions. I also used to fuel my car to embark on long-distance trips. Now, my wife would rather send some token in cash form to the celebrating family or friend and save cost. Me too, I now prefer to use public transportation on long-distance trips and cut fuel cost and channel the resource for better use,” said Idris Mohammed from Darazo local government of Borno state.
“One of my colleagues from a neighbouring local government area called Shira in Bauchi called to inform me sometime in January 2021 about training that he and his wife participated in. He told me lots of inspiring things about how applying the lessons learned is transforming his family. I became curious. When I learned that the training was coming to Misau, the local government where I work, I made up my mind to participate and take it seriously,” said Idris.
Idris was one of the participants of The Gender Action Learning System (GALS) training that took place in his community in 2021. GALS is a community-led empowerment methodology to promote more harmonious and violence-free relationships in families and communities.
“I was inspired to begin my building project after going through the training. Building a house had seemed like a massive project reserved for only the wealthy, but applying the knowledge I gained from the training, I saw how cutting unnecessary costs and adjusting our lifestyle will help my family channel our resources to more meaningful things,” said Idris.
“I have raised my building project to a reasonable level, and even acquired a new piece of land from the profits we made from the harvest of our produce but the challenge of the rising cost of living has slowed things down. The prices of building materials have way more than doubled in price since I began the project. Apart from that, a recent storm pulled down the fence that I have constructed,” Idris added.
Supported by Global Affairs Canada, GALS is a component of Oxfam Livelihood and Empowerment project, and it aims to connect and build synergies between various groups of people in pursuit of the common vision of promoting a harmonious and a life free of gender-based violence (GBV) for women and girls within their families and the wider communities.
“I have become more involved with our daughter’s education. I see to it that she has time to read her books and do her assignments besides house chores. My goal is to see her through her education up to tertiary level before she considers getting married,” Idris said.