Education Champion Network

Benjamin John

Programs Manager, Restoration of Hope Initiative (ROHI) Champion since 2020
“Local actors are attuned to grassroots concerns — we are able to relate to the community and they trust us.”
Advocating for safe school environments for girls in conflict-affected communities

The Issue

Insecure and unsafe school environments in northeastern Nigeria prevent many girls from going to school. Ongoing conflict in the region has led to the kidnappings of children, especially girls, who are vulnerable to exploitation and violation. Because schools are not currently protected by laws, armed groups have attacked schools and taken them over as operation bases.

Benjamin’s approach

Policy Reform

While working as a teacher in Nigeria, Benjamin saw that many girls in his community dropped out of school because they feared attacks from terrorists on their way to or from class. Benjamin decided he could better support girls in his community through advocacy and joined Restoration of Hope Initiative (ROHI) in December 2015. As the program manager at ROHI, Benjamin leads the organisation’s work advocating for the adoption of the Safe Schools Declaration (SSD), an international commitment that prevents armed forces from using schools as bases and protects students, teachers and their schools during armed conflict.

With his Malala Fund grant, Benjamin will advocate for Adamawa and Borno states to sign the SSD and create guidelines for its implementation at the state level. ROHI will also train state level officials on the SSD guidelines and establish SSD desks in the state governments to ensure officials put the measures into practice. If passed into law in Adamawa and Borno, the SSD has the potential to make schools safer for over 372,000 girls.

More about Benjamin

Twitter: @Benjos01
Organization's Facebook: Restoration Of Hope Initiative
Organization's Twitter: @nigeria_rohi

There are 9 other Education Champions working in Nigeria.