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Trust between businessmen and IDP women helps displaced families in Lower Juba out of poverty


Saturday September 3, 2022

 

(ERGO) –  Sahra Mohamed Yusuf, a mother of five, can now earn 300,000 ($10) on a good day selling fresh vegetables as part of a women’s group initiative in Somalia’s Lower Juba region that has helped her out of poverty.

“I am now able to afford three meals, I buy medicine, I pay school fees, we are able to get almost everything. I was stumbling before, and we depended on our relatives,” said Sahra.

Before she was collecting and selling firewood making a pitiful $2 that was barely enough to cover her family needs.

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Now she is among the 150 displaced women in nine umbrella groups in IDP camps in Dhobley who are buying produce on credit from 10 businessmen and selling the vegetables locally at a profit, paying back what they owe after a few days.

Sahra and her family migrated from Gududey, Middle Shabelle, last October after losing their 30 goats and 25 cows to the drought. “We didn’t have many animals, although they all perished when the fodder become scarce. When we lost everything we decided to flee the area and join the camp,” said Sahra.

They managed to move out of Danwadag camp after six in the vegetable selling venture and live now in a two-room house in town paying $30 rent. Sahra has now enrolled her children in a local school, paying $10 for each child. She has also saved up $100 from a rotating savings scheme run by the women’s groups.

Hamdi Mahad Mohamed, a mother of 11, used to wash clothes and turned her life around when she got the opportunity to join the other women. She is now able to take $11-14 worth of vegetables on credit and earns $3 profit a day.

“We were previously desperate, and we would be evicted wherever we tried to settle, we would walk around this area looking for a place to live. Some businesses people finally allowed us to live near their shops,” said Hamdi.

“One of my employees who I used wash clothes for told me about the opportunity to take vegetables on credit and keep the profit.”

With the help of her eldest son working in a garage, Hamdi has put five of her children in Koranic school and five in a secular school paying $65 a month in fees.

They migrated from Middle Juba region to Fadhiweyn eight months ago after losing lost all their livestock including 60 cows and 100 goats.

Abdifatah Sheikh Bashir Mayow, one of the fresh produce suppliers, said he was approached by four women with the business proposal. Abdifatah imports vegetables from different regions and gives the women discounted prices.

“They asked me to give them the goods on credit and they would pay after three days and I agreed. They asked me to trust them, and after seeing their condition and their children I trusted them, and now we are working together,” he explained.



 





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