Thriving Youths, Revitalised Communities

February 15, 2023
Fibi Melchi Yuguda (left) with her sister.

Fibi Melchi Yuguda (left) with her sister.

UNDP Nigeria/ Amalachukwu Ibeneme

Everyone deserves a second chance to reinvent themselves and create something meaningful. However, the road to recovery for many in crisis-affected communities, especially women and youth, is often narrow. With economic structures disrupted, livelihood support limited and access to essential services crippled; many are left on the fringes and forced to start again.

A recently published UNDP report revealed that one of the key factors driving people, particularly young people, to join the rapidly growing violent-extremist groups in Sub-Saharan Africa is the desire to find economic opportunities.

To help set affected communities on the path of recovery, UNDP, through the “Support for Reconciliation and Reintegration” project for communities northeast Nigeria, funded by the European Union, renovated and equipped two skill acquisition centres in Yobe and Adamawa States. The centres, estimated to train about 4,000 students yearly, will help provide valuable training opportunities on various vocational skills that equip young people with hands-on experience in fields such as ICT, cosmetology, tailoring, agriculture etc. 


“The renovated centre is very much appreciated by the communities, as we are just trying to recover and rebuild our lives from what is available to us. Our communities have been looking forward to this project, and many, especially young people and women, have already indicated their interest in the skills they want to learn. Parents are already encouraging their wardens to take advantage of the centre", said Yakubu, the Skill Centre Manager in Shuwa, Adamawa State. 

These interventions are designed to provide long-term sustainable livelihood opportunities for communities and prevent youth radicalisation, which has a ripple effect on community safety and economic revitalisation. The skill acquisition centres, equipped with knitting materials, raw pasta-making machines, phone repair tools, and beauty kits, help ensure communities have all they need to resume their vocational training activities better than they used to be before the insurgency, thus placing young people at the heart of community peacebuilding efforts and creating an enabling environment that allows them to thrive and reach their full potential.

Speaking with youth leaders in the community, the eagerness to start using the skill centres was palpable as such interventions help engage young people and equip them with sought-after knowledge and skills.



Fibi Melchi Yuguda, one of the youth in Buni Yadi, Yobe State.

Fibi Melchi Yuguda, one of the youth in Buni Yadi.

UNDP Nigeria/ Amalachukwu Ibeneme
I can’t wait for the trainings to kick off, my friends and I have already registered. This will equip us with the skills and knowledge that will enable us to start our businesses. So many young people in the community are happy, as this will help curb unemployment and street begging.
Fibi Melchi Yuguda

Providing vocational and livelihood opportunities that connect directly to opportunities in employment could provide incentives for continued peace by offering alternatives to those previously involved in conflict. 

About the Project
IOM, UNICEF and UNDP jointly implement the Support for Reconciliation and Reintegration project. It seeks to support the State Governments of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe to enhance community preparedness for reintegration, reducing rejection and stigmatisation of former associates, and preparing the ground for community-based healing and reconciliation. UNDP-implemented components empower communities to achieve sustainable peace by promoting more just, cohesive, and inclusive communities while addressing some of the conflict’s underlying drivers.