‘Deeply Traumatized’ IDPs Find Solace in NGO Relief Intervention

After enduring harrowing attacks by terrorists who destroyed their homes, hundreds of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria’s Plateau State found themselves forced to flee their villages and seek refuge in makeshift camps several miles away. However, amidst the overwhelming challenges they faced, a glimmer of hope emerged as the Emancipation Center for Crisis Victims in Nigeria (ECCVN), a dedicated local nongovernmental organization committed to assisting disaster victims, stepped in to offer support.

Merely 15 miles from the buzzing city of Jos, the capital of Plateau State, the IDPs comprised of chiefly women and children endured several days of starvation according to town leaders, until the organization came to their aid on 25 July. 

Thanks to the efforts of ECCVN, the IDPs, who have been through unimaginable hardships, now have a reason to smile.

For several years, the organization has been providing essential aid, including food, shelter, medical assistance, and emotional support to those affected by crisis. Through their compassion and dedication, they have brought much-needed relief and comfort to victims, helping them navigate through the difficult circumstances they find themselves in.

‘Deeply traumatized’

On 25 July, ECCVN delivered truckloads of grains, to hundreds of residents displaced by terrorists attacks 15miles southwest of Jos. The organization led by its chief executive officer, Solomon Dalyop also gave out huge sums of money to aid with the IDPs’ medical needs – those injured in the attacks.

The organization’s convoy arrived the village of Kwi in the Barkin Ladi county at 1pm local time, amid loud jubilations by hundreds of residents displaced from a nearby village of Heigwe. For the homeless villagers, it was the first time such a relief was reaching them since their displacement on 11 April, according to the Village Head of Kwi, Mr. Joshua Kwon.

“We were deeply traumatized,” said Kwon to the team from ECCVN. “All our houses were destroyed as our farm crops,” Kwon said. “They killed at least 11 of our members. Many others escaped with bullet injuries, but no one has remembered us or even supported us until now,” he said.

The decision to visit the victims with relief was born out of concern for their well-being and instill a sense of hope for a better future in the IDPs, said Dalyop who is also a human rights lawyer and tribal youth leader in Jos.

“We cannot change all the pains you have passed through, but our desire is to help you to outgrow them,” he said, conveying the feelings of the organization’s foreign partners.

“What we have is a few bags of rice and Guinea corn, as well as little cash to aid with the medical bills of your injured members but it comes from a place of love and compassion,” he added.

Receiving the donations on behalf of the refugees, town leader Kwon described ECCVN as ‘lifesaving’. “We don’t have the words to appreciate you. But what you have done will forever be remembered,” he said.

Ms. Nvou Iliya, a resident of Heigwe who narrowly escaped with her children also said the intervention had renewed her strength and hope.

“We hadn’t what to eat but you remembered us,” said Iliya. “There is nothing we can say other than thank you,” she said.

The team later moved to Jol, a village located 5miles away in the Riyom county where another group of IDPs from a village called Loton were camped, and gave a similar intervention. Just like the IDPs in Kwi, those in Jol had not received any donation prior to July 25. 

“These people were in a difficult situation,” said a local government official, Sati Shuwa during the intervention. “Even as a government we were overwhelmed,” Shuwa said, regretting that local government secretariats a across the State have been sealed by Police and their monthly subventions withheld by the federal government following protests by former elected officials who allege they were illegally removed from office by the newly elected Governor of the State, Caleb Mutfwang.

“For you to have remembered us, we will never forget you,” he said.

The donations were the latest in a series of interventions by ECCVN to victims of recent violence in Plateau State. On 23 July, the organization shared truckloads of grains and large amounts of money to IDPs in the Mangu and Barkin Ladi local government areas where more than 80,000 IDPs are camped.

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