Ousmane Mahamadou is a UN Community Volunteer serving with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Niger. His assignment falls within the framework of the Regional Project for the Stabilization of the Lake Chad Basin, which has been underway since January 2020. Ousmane is one of the young people who did not give up after the security situation deteriorated due to numerous attacks by armed groups in Diffa, southeastern Niger.
Originally from Bosso, Ousmane has seen more than 8,000 people from his community flee their homes. However, he chose to stay. "Abandoning was not an option for me. I had to help my community. I had to be there to help young people overcome this situation," he says.
Ousmane, who holds a teacher's diploma, undertook awareness-raising activities for women and young people in his community on the importance of peace and civic-mindedness, as well as the consequences of violent extremism.
I held discussions to sensitize youth in Bosso about civic values and encourage them to become entrepreneurs to combat idleness, an open path to abuse," he explains.
His involvement in the development of youth in Bosso earned him the recognition of community members, who encouraged him to engage as a volunteer through the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme.
For me, being a UN Community Volunteer is the pinnacle of all that I have contributed to my community. This responsibility will allow me to grow and fully take on the role of linkage between the community and the stakeholders of the stabilization project. -- Ousmane Mahamadou, UN Community Volunteer, UNDP Niger
Ousmane contributes to the resettlement of displaced people in Bosso through several activities. He organizes training sessions in entrepreneurship, particularly in woodworking, and gives practical courses at the Centre for Professional Techniques for Youth.
For instance, he created several entrepreneurship opportunities to tackle unemployment in Bosso, including a carpentry workshop, a cyber-café to facilitate job-search, a restaurant, a telephone recharging office that operates with solar energy, and a barber salon. These initiatives allow about twenty young people to work, while also providing the city with quality products and services appreciated by all.
Through the stabilization project, 18 UN Community Volunteers like Ousmane, four national UN Volunteers and one international UN Volunteer are helping the displaced people of Bosso regain their homes and restore their dignity.