From porter to community mobilizer
Sahro Haji*, a middle-aged woman, stands in line with other women. It’s payday. She collects her money, but does not leave immediately like the rest of the women. Instead, she walks straight back to the line in order to express surprise at the transformation she has undergone.
“Thank Allah. I could not imagine that one day I would line up with women like you as an equal,” she proudly announces.
Sahro grew up with low self-esteem, which emanated mainly from the wider community’s negative perception of her Elya clan. The garbage collection project in Dherkenley District, Mogadishu has helped her to overcome this weakness.
Prior to being enlisted in this project, Sahro worked as a porter in Suuq Boocle market. Today, she is employed by KAASHIF, a local non-governmental organization, as a cleaner. But her surprise today springs from the fact that the district commissioner enlisted her as a community mobilizer.
“Not only has this project provided badly needed income for my family, but it has also boosted my social status. I now do the same job and earn the same wages as other women,” she explains.
Sahro is now well respected among fellow workers. She feels the project has empowered her enough to freely express herself before a crowd.
The protracted war in Somalia has disrupted livelihoods for many people. They have lost property and been consigned to poverty.
To date, the project has employed over 300 persons, of which 60 percent are women. The beneficiaries were recruited by a committee, with priority given to marginalized groups. The implementation of the garbage collection project is spearheaded by KAASHIF.
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