The Ones That Got Away

Since 2009, Boko Haram insurgents have been terrorizing civilians in northeastern Nigeria. The group gained international notoriety when they abducted hundreds of girls from a school in Chibok, in Borno State, and over the years has abducted thousands of men, women, boys, and girls to use as soldiers and sex slaves. An estimated two million Nigerians have been displaced as a result of Boko Haram’s campaign of terror. Last year, Nigeria elected a new president, Muhammadu Buhari, who made a commitment to bring the insurgency to the end. In December 2015, President Buhari declared that his military had “technically” defeated Boko Haram – a claim challenged by most impartial observers.

Even though the Nigerian government has said that Boko Haram has been “technically” defeated in the northeast, the group continues to attack villages and threaten security in the region.
 The majority of those displaced (IDPs) by Boko Haram in Borno state are living in the capital, Maiduguri. There are several state-run IDP camps throughout the city. This picture shows one of just three cooking areas for more than 5,000 people living
 The support that the IDPs in the camp receive is inconsistent and inadequate. Many, like this young man, have turned to sewing handicrafts for sale in the local market to try to earn a meagre living.
 Over ninety percent of those displaced by Boko Haram are living outside of the state-run camps. The majority are women and children whose husbands and fathers were killed or captured in attacks by Boko Haram. 
 The IDPs living outside the camps receive little to no assistance and are struggling to find basic necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing. This girl is melting a bit of plastic to try and repair a hole in her sandal.
 Friday (on the right) was just 15-years-old when Boko Haram attacked his village in November 2014. His older brother was killed, and he and his five younger siblings were forced to run for their lives. They are now living as IDPs with their aunt in
 Most of the IDPs living outside the camps are relying on host communities to help them survive. This man was a village chief from Chibok before he and his family were displaced. Now living as an IDP in Maiduguri, he hosted more than 50 other IDPs wh
 These IDPs have all been living in a host community in Maiduguri since 2014. They try to earn a living by selling firewood and other small items, but for the most part rely on the goodwill of the community to support them.