In Awdhegle, district in Lowershabelle region, Somalia, More than two decades of conflict, instability, droughts and poor living hosted thousands of populations that displaced within the town and surrounding town/ villages. In the absence of strong functional government that manages the influx of displaced people led increased vulnerability and poverty stricken populations in Awdhegle.
Khadija Abdi Yusuf, 55 years old and a mother of ten children, lived with her husband and ten children in their small farm at Masoole – a village of 15km away from Awdhegle and during the drought of 2011, they couldn’t survive in their subsistence farm and moved to Awdhegle where they first settled at an IDP camp which later on the local authority evicted them and once again displaced to another IDP camp.
We came here (Awdhegle) with nothing and barely any skill of generating livelihood income.
Khadija says, they received no support from the Government, non-Governmental organizations, or the residents. To survive, her husband who was 65 years old at that time, started to look for labour jobs where he sometimes finds it while some days missed and came home with nothing.
My husband was the only breadwinner and all though, the small amount he get as wages could suffice for daily food, my main worry was seeing my children not attending to school due to lack of fees.
Identified and registered as a beneficiary for Cash for Work activities under the project titled Livelihood, income generating support to the most vulnerable and underserved populations in Awdhegle lower shabelle Somalia that PASOS is implementing in awdhegle town, it was a new dawn for Khadija and her family.
The activities include provision of short term employment that serves as a temporary source of income for immediate needs and rehabilitation of community key infrastructure assets.
Khadija started investing her first payments of USD 150 to start small business where she bought vending candy, chewing gum, small packets of milk and vegetables. She recalls when the idea of starting the business came in to her mind that she didn’t know what to do and where to start and her main worry was the venue to sell the goods but her motivation increased when she consulted a neighbour of her who works as a roofer and offered her that he will volunteer for his skill if she is able to get the material.
I was clueless at all; I had only the urge of starting business with the $150 but to my lucky, my neighbour offered me his skill which I felt so happy and started to gather old iron sheets from the neighbours where I constructed this small kiosk.
Khadijo, now makes an average daily profit of $3 and is now able to take care her aging husband and 10 children whom 2 of them are attending school. She has an ambition to expand the business to medium sized shop in the near future by investing the remaining two months payment as well the profits made.
In Dhubane IDP camp, Khadija is a role model and a good example for the women in the community.
Qadija, is a role model, I was here when she and her family came to this IDP camp and I am the one identified as beneficiary, she was smart and energetic…..I am grateful she is making some progress in her adventure.
Ibrahim Abdisalan, a camp leader noted.
PASOS has provided livelihoods skills support to more than 300 youth, unconditional cash for 1000 vulnerable households as well provides 1023 beneficiaries for cash for work in Awdhegle district.