|Being sure about the next meal|
Satho Ibrahim*, a mother of five, cannot hide her joy. She has just received her pay from the rehabilitation project at Alhuda Primary School in Mogadishu.
“I have been selected to work in this project, as I am considered vulnerable,” Satho explains. “The project employed me and I now earn 3 dollars daily, which when exchanged is 100,000 Somali shillings. This means I can afford daily meals and other necessities. It also provides savings.” Satho’s husband deserted her, leaving her the sole breadwinner for five young children.
“The whereabouts of my husband is unknown. He just disappeared, leaving me with the burden of caring for the children alone, without employment or property.”
The rehabilitation work at the school led by Action in Development Aid (ADA) – UNDP’s local implementing partner has changed Satho’s life. As long as she is employed by the project, she is sure of finding the next meal for her children.
“ADA and UNDP have come to my rescue,” says Satho happily. “I can now afford to have a meal every day. I also saved 50 dollars from earnings I received from 7 days of work. It may be little, but I intend to use it as capital to start a small-scale vegetable business.”
She acknowledges that income from the project has significantly changed the life of the entire family: “My children keep asking what has been the cause of this sudden change in our lives. I usually leave home at seven in the morning for work and come back early afternoon. And I buy food for the day and the following morning on my way home. This has not been happening in the last few years.”
Though the project will come to an end someday, Satho is not worried. She enjoys the fact that she can feed her family today and save a little money for business.
“Since ADA has informed us the project will still continue for some time to complete the remaining activities, I am not worried. I believe by the time it ends I will have saved enough money to start the business. This will make the dream of being able to adequately feed my children come true.”
The work at Alhuda Primary School includes the rehabilitation of 18 classrooms. The Employment Generation for Early Recovery Project seeks to create income and jobs for vulnerable groups such as women, youth, and IDPs and their host communities in South Central Somalia.
*name has been changed