At Almajiri Child Rights Initiative,

our frameworks are built on sustainable advocacy and direct humanitarian intervention for the socioeconomic inclusion of Almajiri children. Our interventions are centered around the Almajiri Child Goals (ACGs), a framework designed to align our advocacy campaigns and direct services with the sustainable development goals: 

These goals are

  1. No poverty (1)
  2. Zero hunger (2)
  3. Good health and Well-being (3)
  4. Quality Education (4)
  5. Clean Water and Sanitation (6)
  6. Decent Work and Economic growth (8)
  7. Reduce Inequality (9)
  8. Peace Justice and Strong Institution (16)
  9. Partnerships for the Goals (17)

With our partners, we have successfully implemented and delivered direct interventions and advocacy projects around behavioral change, health, education, as well as providing immediate relief that cut across nutrition, clothing, personal hygiene, and WASH. Here are the key projects according to our 3-year strategic plan:



Despite the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals Agenda 2030’s

pledge being “leaving no one behind”, over 10 million children below the age of 10-years are deprived of fundamental human rights under the Almajiri system. Almajiri system a common practice in northern Nigeria and some West African countries, enslaves migrant children from a young age into the hands of supposed Islamic scholars known as “Mallams” (teachers), who are supposed to school them in the faith of Islam. Rather than do this, however, the children are turned into a life of begging and destitution to survive and for the benefit of the Mallam. The system afflicts the affected children, who are in the tens of millions, with severe deprivations of nutrition, health and wellbeing as well as lack of education. Northern Nigeria, where this system is common also has the highest poverty rate in Nigeria and the largest population of out-of-school children in the world, producing over 10 million of a global out-of-school children population estimated at 58 million. 

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Many of the children also suffer routine forms of dehumanizing physical and sexual abuse. It is no accident that this region which is home to the Almajiri System is also the home of Boko Haram’s insurgency because children who have been deprived of access to education and sustainable skills or livelihoods are quite easily recruited into the lives of nihilist violence.
In response to our continuous calls and demand for the government to take action and reform the practice in line with the sustainable development goals, the government announced a ban on the practice in the wake of the COVID\-19 pandemic and order the return of all children to their original communities. Kaduna state has documented more than 10,000 Almajiri children in various communities thus increasing the needs for more classes and teachers to accommodate new students. With support from UNICEF, we supported the reintegration of 100 Almajiri children into the various communities including Kamfani, a community along a major highway with a population of over 6000 people whose major occupation are farming and trading. this community has about 95% Muslims population and with 5% Christian population living on both sides of the major high way. There is an existing school of 6 classrooms on one side of the high way and none on the other side with a higher population of children of school age but not a single school. Many children from this community have died while trying to cross the highway to another school. According to the community, the absence of a school within the community is part of the reasons why parents send their children to the informal Almajiri system that precludes them from access to formal education and exposes them to abuse and danger. This however led to the support from polish aid Nigeria in Collaboration with ACRI to respond to the need of this community with the construction of one block of three class rooms. 

  1.  IRISH AID PROJECT; Humanitarian Emergency Response Fund


Humanitarian Emergency Response Fund

IrishAid Nigeria, through their Humanitarian Emergency Response Fund (HERF) in-collaboration with Almajiri Child Rights Initiative (ACRI) have taken the gauntlet to provide emergency relief to respond to the needs of these almajiri children. A survival package was given to over 600 almajiri children across 4 almajiri centers within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and neighbouring states. The items consist of; sanitary kits, mosquito nets, milk and milo, rice, Beans, Tuwon shinkanfa, groundnut oil, palm oil and sugar. In the course of implementation of the project, ACRI discovered 250 children whose means of survival was on street begging with very poor living conditions. These children, although associated with a particular almajiri school, were not taken care of by their “Mallam” in terms of the provision of food and decent shelter thus these children were provided with survival packages, sanitary kits and mosquitoes’ net. Similarly, 350 children who leave and survive under the care of the mallams who occasionally provide food when the means of provision is available, were supported with survival packages including bags of rice, beans, sugar, wheat, millet, twu, palm oil, groundnut oil and praying mat which server as a sleeping tool when the night comes. This item was distributed in 4 communities in Angwan Katsinawa, Mararaba Gurku, Dei-Dei, Karu and Gauraka. These environs could generally be classified as FCT environs


Niger state is recording an increase in cases of conflict particularly those from armed bandits. Residents in various local government areas and communities in Niger State are presently on the edge as a result of incessant invasion of their communities by bandits, kidnappers and other militias. In the past, these hoodlums operated in isolated communities where there was little or no security presence. But they have now come out in full force to ruthlessly attack without fear. The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, disclosed in February 2022, that not less than 7 out of the 25 local governments in the state are frequently under attack by bandits and terrorists.
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) shares borders with Niger state and there are fears that such conflicts and ensuing mass atrocities may become the new normal in the corridors of the FCT. Communities in Abaji, Kwali and Kuje are already recording conflicts of different kinds. The recent attack on the Abuja-Kaduna rail line which led to the abduction of over 6o persons and the gruesome attack of the Kuje prisons by armed terrosit is a testament of the security situation of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory. In a similar vein, Bwari town in Bwari area council is usually under curfew during festive season for fear of regular clashes between the native Gbagi people and other settler tribes. Remote communities in Abjai and Kwali area council are hot spots for kidnaping, herders attack and other atrocities.
As cases of conflicts and violence spreads from Niger state, with communities in the FCT becoming soft targets for conflict and atrocities and with the 2023 general elections drawing nearer with many political formations being set up, it is important to begin to raise awareness of early warning signs and responses among communities in the FCT. This is necessary to stem the tide of rising atrocities in rural communities and provide a template for documentation and reporting of cases of conflict and atrocities. It is on this premise that this project which was funded by Global Rights Nigeria, sought to identify communities that are prone and experienced conflicts, violent attacks and atrocities so as to educate them on early warning responses, documentation and the prevention of mass atrocities.

  1.  Covd-19 Response and Protection On The Reunification and Reintegration Of Almajiri Children In The Covid-19 in Kaduna and Sokoto State

In 2020, ACRI secured a grant from UNICEF for the project: “Covd-19 Response and Protection On The Reunification and Reintegration Of Almajiri Children In The Covid-19 in Kaduna and Sokoto State”

In many states, the mode of repatriation of the almajiri children to their various states, communities
and families were not ideal. The health and protection need of these almajiri children before, during
and after the relocation processes were not adequately protected and considered in the current
COVID-19 response in the region. This however led to the support from UNICEF Nigeria in-
collaboration with ACRI to respond to the needs of these almajiri children and their families with
provision of palliatives for survival. There was also a need assessment conducted to document the
perceptions of the child, parents, religious leaders and community leaders.
As result of the on-going child protection intervention supported by UNICEF Nigeria on Covid-19
response for the repatriated almajiri Children in Kaduna and Sokoto state, UNICEF WASH program in collaboration with Unilever Plc requested Almajiri Child Rights Initiative (ACRI) to support in the
distribution of 1000 antiseptic soap to improve the children hygiene and that of their households
during this Covid-19 pandemic.




Months After the Northern state Governors implemented a range of response which led to the repatriation of almajiri looking at the mode of repatriation put in place. The health and protection need of these almajiri children before, during and after the relocation processes has not be addressed and have not been adequately protected and considered in the current COVID-19 response in the region.
This however led to the support from MacArthur and CISLAC Nigeria in-collaboration with ACRI to response to the needs of these almajiri children. The assessment seeks to evaluate the effectiveness or otherwise of the ban by Northern Governor’s Forum, to collate opinions that can inform policy change and engender actions from the focus state Governors. This led to the survey across 3 Northern States in Nigeria namely Niger, Bauchi and Yobe State.

  1. #SendAlmajiriToCLASS

    According to recent data, there are over 60 million out-of-school children in the globe. Moreover, with 18.5 million out-of-school children, Nigeria amounted to 31% of the world’s over 60 million out-of-school children. In northern Nigeria, over 10 million children are in traditional Almajiri schools without access to quality formal education.

    Via the #SendAlmajiriToCLASS, ACRI has campaigned and influenced partners, policymakers, and relevant stakeholders toward providing educational intervention to Almajiri children through the CLASS model. CLASS, which stands for Constituency Learning Almajiri School System, is designed to ensure greater shared accountability and responsibility between the parents, government, and community towards providing access to quality education to Almajiri children within their home communities.

    In 2021, ACRI, in partnership with the Polish Aid in Nigeria and the Kaduna state government, constructed and furnished one block of three classrooms at Kamfani village in Kaduna state. The facility is currently providing free primary education to over 300 children, including scores of Almajiri children repatriated to the community during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    If you wish to partner with us towards achieving this goal, kindly reach out to us via: [email protected].


Apart from being exposed to abuses, exploitation, and discrimination, one of the greatest threats to the lives of Almajiri children is vulnerability to health-related threats. During the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities tagged Almajiri children as a threat and the most vulnerable groups due to their irregular and uncontrollable migration and exposure. That prompted many state governments in Nigeria to repatriate the Almajiri children to their home communities to mitigate their vulnerability and curtail the spread of the pandemic. 


But that was a response to a life-threatening pandemic with no regard to other deadly parasitic infections that open defecation and poor personal and environmental hygiene have exposed the Almajiri children and their host communities.


ALMACARE is a health-focused framework we designed to tackle the socio-medical challenges of Almajiri children. We planned to ease the difficulty of accessing healthcare facilities and services due to social discrimination. In 2019, ALMCARE was piloted at Anguwan Rimi, Anguwan Rogo, and Alikazaure Primary Healthcare Centres, located in the Jos North community of Plateau state.


If you wish to partner with us towards achieving this goal, kindly reach out to us via: [email protected].

  1. Almajiri Child Rights Day

Almajiri Child Rights Day is our flagship advocacy campaign program. It is an annual citizen-led advocacy and accountability campaign where bring together high-level critical stakeholders to deliberate and call on stakeholders for more actionable commitment towards the socioeconomic inclusion of Almajiri children. The day is celebrated on May 25th of every year.

If you wish to partner with us towards achieving this goal, kindly reach out to us via: [email protected].