Family Reunited by Livelihood Initiative PDF Print



Mogadishu, Somalia - “I was frustrated by the challenges my family was going through,” Nurto*, 27 and a mother of three described her life before help came her way.

The genesis of her troubles was when her husband lost his job: “He was a driver and could support us with his small pay. When this ended, we were evicted from the house because we could not pay the rent,” she narrated.

Her two daughters play in the sand right outside their iron-sheet house oblivious of the chaos that drove their parents apart.  Her son walks over to join his father in a dice game under the shade of a tree in the small compound.

Their mother tells her story with courage, expressions on her face changing to reflect the levels of pain characteristic of her journey. “It got to a point when we could not even eat. The conflict between my husband and I got so bad that he left us. It was a very difficult time,” she reminisces.

Her voice weakens as she tells the choice she made: “I decided to leave my children at a neighbour’s house and run away. I would ask people I knew for information on how the children were doing. One day, I got word that their father had taken the children and put them up with his friend in an abandoned building. I had to get them back.”

A scuffle arose when she went to pick the children calling the attention of the authorities. In response, the police placed the children with a willing family. It is at this point that CISP’s Community Case Worker and Clinic Supervisor got involved to organise medical check-up for the children. After weeks of separation, the couple was helped by protection staff to reconcile. Their situation however remained; they did not have a house or a source of income.

Well-wishers offered to help: The family that hosted the children gave a section of their land for Nurto’s family to settle on, while others contributed money towards the building materials and food.

Nurto now has a job: She was chosen to join 24 other women who have gone through experiences similar to hers, to be trained on making re-usable sanitary pads. This is part of CISP Protection Programme’s initiative to provide livelihood opportunities to survivors of gender based violence. The pads the women make are bought by the organisation for distribution to needy girls in schools.

“I now earn between 50 to 100 dollars a week,” she revealed adding, “my family was facing a very difficult situation. But thank God, today we are happy together.”


*Name changed for confidentiality

By Hussein Somo, Communication Officer, Mogadishu




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