Empowering and reducing poverty of 30 IDPs women through Micro-Grant

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April 5, 2013

DSC04644Garowe, Puntland. On April 4, 2013, Somali Family Services (SFS), in partnership with United Nations Higher Commission for refugees (UNHCR) and Puntland Ministry of Interior provided each $300 start up grant for thirty IDPs women in the IDP camps in Garowe, capital city of Puntland State of Somalia. Prior to the micro grants provision the beneficiaries have successfully completed six months of vocational skill training two days entrepreneurship training and they going through six months functional literacy training. This micro grants scheme is intended to give financial injection or investment to the vulnerable IDPs women that are the bread winners of their families.

IDP chair persons, UNHCR, beneficiaries of the micro grants and other dignitaries attended disbursement ceremony. Bashir Jama, SFS Project Officer stated that “SFS will be doing close monitoring your business activities and further provide counseling and guiding. SFS team will observe the challenges and opportunities in the local market. He add “Please continue you’re the functional literacy and numeracy training that will help you in your day to day business transactions and live”

Filfilo Diirie is a 60 year old displaced woman. She lives one of the camps that internal displaced people live. She is the mother of 9 children. She spoke on behave of the benifacaries and  she said” I was  fortune to be part of the group who had the opportunity to go through vocational skill training, basic financial literacy and today received  first time and start up grant”. Filfilo, added “for many years, I have been struggling to make earning for my children and was dependant on momentary aid from the government and the international agencies, I couldn’t find a job of my own because of my age and lack of skills, now, I am trained well on tailoring and have already succeeded to work on this provision and managed to earn a little from skills. Today I am very thrilled to receive micro- grants, it will help me set up my own tailor shop’’.

Mohamed Salah, who represented the ceremony for UNHCR asserted that “UNHCR designed this project to support the vulnerable IDPs community so that they could live dignified live”.  Mr.Salah encouraged the beneficiaries to work hard and highlight their potentials and lead their own life without international aid. We want you to be independent and be dependent forever”. The participants applauded for Mohamed.

The project has other components that included providing social rehabilitation; social reintegration, functional literacy and vocational skill training for 30 young boys under the age of 15-25 who are likely to commit a crime against IDPs women in the IDP camps.  Similarly, 30 IDPs women who are victims of gender based violence are going through functional literacy, vocational skill training, completed entrepreneurship training and finally they will get micro-grants like this group. Also, the project targets to capacity build different law enforcement and host community how they could handle issues related on gender based violence.

Human Right Watch Report reported  “The 80-page report, “Hostages of the Gatekeepers: Abuses against Internally Displaced in Mogadishu, Somalia,” details serious violations, including physical attacks, restrictions on movement and access to food and shelter, and clan-based discrimination against the displaced in Mogadishu from the height of the famine in mid-2011 through 2012. Interviews with 70 displaced people documented the ways in which government forces, affiliated militia, and private parties, notably camp managers known as “gatekeepers,” prey upon the vulnerable community.”

Somali Family Services is a non-governmental organization dedicated to fostering a peaceful and democratic Somalia through the support of civil society, women, youth and other marginalized groups.


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