Almajiri project in Northern Nigeria
There are over 15million destitute in Nigeria whose number is greater than the population of Togo, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Liberia put together. More than half of these number, which constitute mostly children live in Northern Nigeria. The National Council for the Welfare of Destitute (NCWD) puts the current population of the Almajiris at about 7million. These are approximately seven million of potential lawyers, doctors, engineers, architects, leaders etc  

Ra-ah is working to promote child protection in this sub region. Destitute children roaming about the streets in Northern Nigeria are a normal occurrence. These children are refered to as Almajiris. The term 'Almajiri' (singular) was derived from the Arabic word 'Al-muhaajirun', which is by inference, a  learned Ulama who propagates the peaceful course of Islam. But the Almajiri concept has since outlived its purpose and has become a breeding ground for child begging and potential terrorist camps in Nigeria. The pupils who were meant to be trained to emerge as Ulamas have had to struggle to cater for themselves through begging rather than learning under the watch of the semi -illiterate Qur'anic teachers or Mallams who themselves lacked the requisite support, and use the system as a means of living rather than a way of life. The Almajiri system typifies child abuse, social exclusion and chronic poverty in all ramifications. Because the Almajiri practice is rooted and founded in Islamic religious beliefs and Hausa Fulani cultural practices, many attempts to reverse the trend have failed.

Our research and policy work is supporting the governments and third sector clients working in Northern Nigeria to tackle and provide solutions to isolated and critical cases like the Almajiri. Our resident office in Kaduna provides data and many other useful contacts for this purpose.

As we conduct baseline surveys on orphans, vulnerable groups and disabilities in Nigeria, we are building a compendium of statistics and qualitative information on the number, context, composition and dynamics of orphans and disabilities in Nigeria for effective policy response.