Hope for Siciido

 Fighting in May 2009 caused many residents of Mogadishu’s Karan District to flee to Wadajir and Dherkenley Districts. Most became internally displaced persons (IDPs) and were forced to live under deplorable conditions.

Siciido Axmed*, 38 years old and a single mother of 4, is an IDP in Dherkenley. Before fleeing her home, she was engaged in business. She started with selling tea at Karan Market, using cash given to her by a neighbour. She worked hard and within a few weeks had expanded her menu to include other foodstuff. After two months, Siciido sold goats from her home in Adale and used the proceeds to rent a small hut that she converted into a restaurant. She served Somali groats, pancakes, bread and other food items at an affordable price, and this was enough to take care of her family. Then the fighting started. Siciido left behind everything. She found refuge in an abandoned school in Dherkenley. She was hopeless. For five months she had no reliable source of income and lived hand to mouth, worrying every day for her children.

One day she heard that a committee was recruiting unskilled workers for a clean-up campaign. She courageously approached elders at her IDP camp who enlisted her. The Employment Generation through Street Clearing and Garbage Collection project is implemented by UNDP’s Employment Generation for Early Recovery project through the local NGO KAASHIF.

“The project has meant tremendous improvement in the lives of my family members. We can afford three meals a day, clothes and medical care. Sanitation has also improved,” says Siciido.

Siciido is hopeful of getting her life back on track. She plans to re-establish her restaurant business at Suuq Yare Market when the project ends.

“I have saved enough money to start the business, and I have the skills. There is hope for me and my children,” she concludes.

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