The Possibility of a Life Beyond The Camp

Published November 30, 2017 by Noor Abdi Maalin

Filastin playing with her youngest outside of their shelter in Nasib IDP Camp, September 2017

 

There are few places it’s worse to be a child than an IDP camp. They can be unsafe and lack basic health and hygiene services that people need for their survival and wellbeing. Filastin’s 5 children have spent most of their lives in camps. From,  Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya to Nassib IDP camp in Dhobley district of the Lower Juba region of Somalia .

In their early days in the camp, life was really hard for Filastin Gabose Celan and her family.  The family was new in Dhobley and had to start all over with almost no possession or asset. For a long period Filastin’s husband was unemployed and to make a living for her family she took casual jobs  cleaning houses, and washing clothes and utensils for the resident of Dhobley town.

Filastin has always been motivated by providing a better future for her children. A future outside of the IDP camp where they can get an education and skills that will prepare them for a resourceful and resilient adult life. Despite her determination and hard work, Filastin could never make ends meet. Her family never had regular meals and the children would skip a meal or two a day. In their circumstances education was not in the cards for them.

With the influx of returnees from Dadaab refugee camp to the town, the number of casual labors such as Filastin increased. Casual jobs in cleaning houses and washing clothes became all the more scarce leaving her jobless for days. Nonetheless, Filastin never lost hope, and continued seeking out opportunities..

“Life was difficult, I didn’t spare any effort to provide for my children. But still they were hungry and under nourished. I sometimes would despair but never lost hope completely. I needed to stay strong and work harder for my children and her entire family” Filastin explained.

With the support of EU and STREAM consortium, Adeso and ACTED started co-implementing Social Safety Net project (SSNP) in 2016. The project aimed to address the food insecurity crisis and prevent an impending famine in Somalia. The IDPs in Nasib Camp were among the early registered beneficiaries. Filastin was one of the beneficiaries selected to benefit from the cash transfer.

So far Filastin received 7 payments of 40 USD each since the project started.  She is also a member of an income generating group (IGA) she formed with other IDPs in her camp to start up a business in the camp. Adeso will fund the group with a startup grant of 1500 USD.

“It’s every mother’s dream that her children have a safe, stable environment to thrive. My children deserve a life outside the IDP camp and I am very grateful that I got to be one of the thousands who has received help and support and continue to receive assistance from Adeso so that I can one day realize that dream.” said Filastin with a big smile.