Women IDPs put their life back on track with 75US$

Cudbi Yousuf Ali raises chicken at the Mohamed Moge camp, Hargeisa

UNDP and Training Research Group (TRG), a local NGO in Somaliland, have started a project to improve the livelihoods of women IDPs.


  • Improving the livelihoods of women IDPs

In October 2009,  60 women in the Mohammed Moge IDP camp in Hargeisa (Somaliland) were given ten chicks each, a  cage and a short training on chick raising, for a total amount of around 75US$ per woman.  These women are amongst the most vulnerable: not only have they been displaced on multiple occasions over many years, but they are running their household alone. Nine months on, we went to see how their new business was doing.

Mohammed Moge camp is one of three IDP camps in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland. Originally set up in 1997 as a temporary shelter for 500 families fleeing Mogadishu, the camp hosts today around 10,000 families (or around 50,000 people) and has morphed into a permanent settlement, a part of town.

Rahma arrived in the camp in 2004. She is raising her four children alone. She was given 10 chicks in October last year as well as a cage to keep them, and a short training on chicken raising. She now has 27 chickens selling some of the eggs on the local market, and feeds the others to her children. With the 1.5 to 2 US$ that she makes per day from this small business she has started another business of selling ice cream to children.  She hopes to get a micro grant to expand the ice cream business, and maybe open a small shop.

Outbe is an imposing figure. She welcomes us in front of her house, which is facing a refugee shelter made of rags. She used to live in the shelter but is now only using it as a kitchen. In her yard are two chicken cages, painted in the UN blue with the words ‘UNDP, TRG’.  Outbe has six children, and has been raising them alone ever since her husband left her nearly five years ago. She is the only one amongst the women in the camp who had been raising chicken before and has trained the other women. 

Outbe shows us her skill in raising chickens: from the 10 chicks that she received last year she has now 32. She kills and roasts one on Fridays for her children, sells some chicken and eggs at the local market.  With the money she is making, she can now afford to send her four school-aged children to school. She says that if she were to get a micro grant, she would open a shop. 

Shukri has been displaced twice: she fled the war in Mogadishu 20 years ago to go to Hargeisa, then fled again to Ethiopia and returned to Hargeisa four years ago. She is a widow with nine children, seven of them still at home. We meet her in the yard of her new house, which she managed to build with support from her family.  Shukri now owns 21 chickens. On a good day, she makes 2US$ which she uses to feed her family. She hopes to expand her business.

This project was funded by the government of Norway

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