Tersoo, an only child who lost his father at age of three, is from Adikpo in Kwande Local Government in Nigeria.
Kwande, on the border with Cameroon, is a place where Boko Haram is trying to make inroads. Many young people in the area are drawn to the violent extremist group by the perceived gains of becoming a perpetrator of violence.
As a teenager, Tersoo found himself in an environment driven by violent confrontations between farmers and herders. Violent extremist groups found a way into the territory and many of his peers began working with these groups as a means of survival.
With no direction, he said that working for a violent extremist group “once in a while to make some cash” was his way of life.
That was until he came in contact with Women Environmental Programme, funded by GCERF.
“I got so much inspiration, especially from the mentorship program, which has helped me build self-confidence. I am confident that my future is in my hands and I can create a new path for myself outside of violence,” said Tersoo.
“I have seen what the life of VE [violent extremism] does to young people, how it has turned some of my peers into rejects who will never again be accepted as members of our community and I won’t want to see any other young person go down that road,” he said. “If speaking to others is going to help, I will gladly do so over and over.”
Read more GCERF Snap Shots here.
GCERF is a GCTF Inspired Institution. The Inspired Institutions are independent organizations that complement the Forum’s mission and reinforce the practical use of GCTF resources across the globe.
Photo credit: WEP Nigeria