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Somali youth group lift Beledweyn’s desperate from poverty trap

Monday November 16, 2020

(ERGO) – Kaaho Hassan Mohamed, a disabled mother, lives with her disabled husband and their six children, two of whom are also disabled, in Bananey, on the outskirts of Beledweyn town in southern Somalia’s Hiran region.

The family had been living in a makeshift hut offering little shelter from the elements, until their luck changed when a local youth group shared pictures and videos of their circumstances with Somali well-wishers in the diaspora.

They raised $4,500 to build Kaaho’s family a brand new home.

“We were living in hardship, squeezed in a cramped hut with all the children and with no protection from the rains when Allah sent his grace. We are thankful to the people who generously donated all this to us,” Kaaho told Radio Ergo.

The family survives on the small income Kaaho’s husband earns from his donkey cart, on which he transports goods for people earning $6 to $8 on days when he can find work.

Kaaho explained that they use this unreliable income to prepare two meals a day, to cover $12 Koranic school fees for three of their children, and to buy water costing $3 per barrel. The area does not have a community borehole.

Abdiaziz Mahamud Mudey, the leader of the youth group, aspires to lift the burden from vulnerable families caught in the poverty trap. They simply shine a light on problems and seek help from those who can afford to donate.

“When we heard about this family, we visited their home, we saw the disabled mother who has to crawl on her hands and knees and how she was managing. We shared her plight with others and the response has been beautiful,” Abdiaziz said.

Since starting their campaign nine months ago, they have raised $7,000 to help 21 families with urgent needs like house repairs and medical assistance, including cataract removal and surgery. They have also provided 70 families with food and water.

Anisa Mahmud Suleiman, a 70-year-old grandmother who lives in Khadijo Khudaarey IDP camp in Beledweyn’s Howlwadag district, told Radio Ergo that the youth group helped her in her hour of need.

Anisa used to sell women’s clothes in the camp but in the last two years her health deteriorated with diabetes and hypertension. She lost sight in one eye and was bedridden when the youth group visited her in July.

“They brought me enough food to last me for two months, may God bless them… they have really made me happy,” Anisa said.

The group gave her $40 to fix her home and on 8 November arranged for her to receive eye surgery at Hilaal hospital to restore her sight.

The youth group works closely with prominent doctors in Beledweyn, who volunteer their services.


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