Making a Difference that Lasts!
Published November 7, 2017 by Abdikarim Khalif Olow
Twenty-three-year-old Mohamed Ahmed Khalif lives in Danwadag village of Afmadow town with his family of nine. The income that Mohamed’s father makes as a casual labor and a shepherd is barely enough to access their livelihood needs. When he came of age, Mohamed decided to share the responsibility of supporting the family with his father, but years of looking for a job were of no avail.
The start of an EU funded Social Safety Nets project implemented by Adeso under the STREAM Consortium (a partnership between Adeso and ACTED) in Lower Juba, South Central Somalia was a turning point in Mohamed’s life. Mohamed’s family has been receiving a payment of USD 40 for a period of 10 months now. After the family cleared their debt, they started saving USD 20 every month. After 10 months they were able to save USD 200, in addition to $120 that his father borrowed from a relative the family was able to buy a donkey cart for their son.
Mohamed uses the donkey cart to sell firewood and and distribute water to the villagers making a daily profit of about 350,000 Somali shillings (equivalent to USD 15). The family uses the money to cover their basic needs and to pay the children’s school fees. Driving his donkey cart around the village to sell deliver and sell water, firewood and sometimes vegetables not only helps Mohamed make an income but it keeps him busy and prevents him from getting himself in less than ideal situations.
“Although the cash transfer initiative was very helpful, as a family we realized that this assistance can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and very temporary. So my family decided to plan a more lasting improvement to finally lift ourselves out of poverty." Mohamed said
"I was beginning to lose hope, I never thought that I will be able to earn an income and contribute to my family’s livelihood and my sibling's education. But I am able to do that now thanks to the project assistance” he continued.
Giving cash to the vulnerable communities and those affected by humanitarian crises is a very effective way to address their immediate needs and identify their vulnerabilities to help them build stronger future. Adeso believes that cash transfers can make for more than a temporary solution. It's a dignified way to help and empower affected people to make their own choices, prioritize their needs and support their survival and recovery from the disaster making a lasting difference to their lives.