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Radio story helps Mogadishu IDP camp school to find new funders

Friday February 9, 2024

Youth volunteers support needy children to stay in school in Garowe/ FILE PHOTO RADIO ERGO

(ERGO) – Thirteen year old Ali Abdullahi Muhyadin is happy to be back in the classroom after his free-tuition school in a displacement camp in Garasbaley, Mogadishu, that had closed for three months found new sponsors.

Bar school in Barlin IDP camp closed last year after the death of its financial benefactor.

But a Radio Ergo broadcast on 2 September was picked up by a local charitable group that came in with fresh support.

“I am very happy to have got my education back. While the school was closed I was getting anxious. But now I’m back at school like any other student in the area, I’ve even got my books and pens,” Ali said.

Unfortunately, his four younger siblings have not been able to join as their mother can’t afford the books and pens for them all.

Ali’s mother, a cleaner, makes about $5 a day. His father died in 2019. The family used to be pastoralists in Bakool region, where they lost 90 goats in the drought in 2017, forcing them to flee to Barlin IDP camp.

Bar school was reopened on 16 November by Development Organisation for Somali Young Generation, DOSYO, whose director, Abukar Shuute Hussein, said they heard about its closure on Radio Ergo.

The three-classroom school offers lessons in the mornings and afternoons for 231 students from families displaced by drought and conflict in other regions. None could afford the $15 fees normally charged for tuition by other private schools in the area.

“We heard about the need for the school from Radio Ergo, who spoke about the hardships in the area. We work on humanitarian affairs, and education is among our main objectives. We sent a group to assess the area and the education needs there,” said Abukar.

The school land was donated by local people while the structures were constructed by private companies and donations from the diaspora. DOSYO hopes to expand the school to cover the educational needs in Barlin camp.

“When we saw the need for education in the area, that’s when we stood up to set up this school which will help develop the children in the camp,” Abukar said.

Nasra Nunow Mohammed is another IDP mother who is happy two of her children are now in school. She couldn’t afford the 6,000 Somali shillings bus fare to the nearest other free school in Deynile.

“The children didn’t have education, they had nothing. We aren’t well of now and I can’t afford to pay for their education,” she said.

Nasra works as a cleaner in a restaurant in Hodan earning $80 a month. She and her children live in a makeshift house in Wanlaweyn camp in Garasbaley. The family lost 25 goats and 35 cows to drought in 2019 in Wanlaweyn, Lower Shabelle. Since her husband divorced in 2020 he does not support them.

Bar school is also offering adult literacy classes to IDP women. For most of them it’s the first time they have been to school.

Ruweyda Abdullahi, a mother of two in Walanweyn camp, is among 50 women attending classes. She runs a tiny stall in the camp, and says she struggled in reading and writing but since going to school she can read messages on her phone.

“I learned how to read Somali here, I understood a lot from here. I can now read whatever people send me now. Thank God, I was in the dark but now I’m educated. I am educated!” Ruweyda stated.

Similar private schools charge $7 for adult classes. Ruweyda was displaced by clan conflict in 2017 from Wanlaweyn, where her father and brother died.



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