Maryan Abdi Mohamed and Fartuun Said Ahmed are no strangers to one another. They both live in Armo, Puntland, Somalia. It is located in the Bari region of Somalia. It is a medium-size town where several people drive through to get to other cities. Before the COVID-19 pandemic and past droughts, Maryan and Fartuun were individual small business owners. They both provided for their families and sold vegetables, fruits and spices. But due to the COVID-19 precaution of avoiding touching surfaces and maintaining distances, people started avoiding buying vegetables and spices saying that they have been touched by so many people and can transmit the virus. Maryan and Fartuun were the sole breadwinners of their family when work became hard to find for their husbands. Both of their husbands used to work as laborers in the town.
Maryan Abdi Mohamed is a sixty-year-old mother who cares for her large family. Her household consists of her elderly mother, her husband and eight children. Fartuun Said Ahmed is 41-year-old and cares for her seven children and husband. Fortunately, Maryan and Fartuun became GFFO COVID-19 UCT beneficiaries in October 2020. When they received the first cycle ($70 each), they decided to re-start a new business together where they would buy thrift clothes and sell them in the market. They both contributed $50 each to buy one bag of thrift clothes to start their new business. Their goal was to earn money so they can provide for their families and so after buying one bag of clothes they were able to make a profit. The ladies became famous and people wanted to buy their clothes. These clothes included nice coats, shirts, trousers, shoes and dresses for people of all sizes. For their second payment, the women decided to expand and add sweets and snacks to their business.
The ladies are very happy with their business, business partnership and most of all their friendship. They are empowered and are very proud that they can provide for their families. Fartuun one of the two businesswomen said, “I appreciate the support of the donor, Oxfam and Adeso gave us and hope that Adeso is able to continue supporting small businesses and families because they truly have made a difference in our lives.