In this small universe, life teaches people many lessons and these can sometimes be seen as harsh or unfair to some. This is the story of Sahra; a mother of six who is in her mid-30s and disabled. Sahra and her family used to live in very hard conditions as her husband did not have a job. He would find odd jobs here and there as a bricklayer, but nothing was ever permanent.
Four years ago, life got worse for the family and they faced further hardships when the father who was their only source of income, their breadwinner, tragically suffered from a horrible car accident. Unfortunately; the accident left him with severe head injuries, leaving him unable to work again.
At that time, Sahra and her family only use to get a meal or two a day. Sometimes when her children felt hungry, Sahra received food from her neighboring households. Despite the generosity of her neighbours, the extra sustenance was neither enough nor nutritious because her neighbors were also destitute. The food rations were only enough for the children to survive for a few more days.
Given their dire circumstances, the children did not get a chance to attend schools to receive any form of education, formal or otherwise. Sahra and her family were in a desperate circumstance, as they lacked all other necessities, such as basic health care, clean water, electricity, and safe shelter.
Sahra tried her best to cover her family’s basic needs so she started her own small restaurant. However, her initial capital was not enough to run the restaurant well and her sales were low.
Fortunately, a small ray of hope emerged from the families harrowing circumstance when SOS Children’s Villages Family Strengthening team in Hargeisa met with them. Immediately after seeing the family’s situation, the team registered them as a FSP beneficiary.
On January 2020, the family became eligible for their first revolving loan money amount ($300). Without any hesitation, Sahra quickly brought her signed notary document and received the loan. Within no time, the mother immediately began to expand her current business and get more customers.
With the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, came restrictions which badly affected Sahra business. Luckily, she was among those beneficiaries who received the COVID-19 support and received some more cash to supporting her business. After restless days and plenty of hard work, the family business is improving day by day and gaining more customers.
On October 24th 2021, the mother received her third revolving loan money ($500) and with it she plans to support her family’s other needs. Since her business was functioning well, it encouraged Sahra to immediately enroll her children in a formal education.
Today, 4 out of Sahra’s 6 children are attending schools, all receive three nutritious meals a day and are well-fed and well taken care of, thanks to the SOS Children’s Villages Family Strengthening Programme in Hargeisa.
FSP provided a proper shelter to Sahra’s family as well because the children were not adequately protected in their previous shelter and were at great risk to floods during the rainy seasons, cold weather, winds as well as theft.
The Family Strengthening Programme in Hargeisa, not only built and supported the family’s financial difficulties, but empowered the mother to enhance her skills in terms of caring for her children, hygiene and sanitation promotion, child-care and parental skills, and basic business management.
Today, Sahra’s first born son; Zakeriya, is a very ambitious and motivated child who the mother believes to have a bright future. He is only 12 years old, attends a primary school and his favorite subject is science. “I want to be a scientist and invent new things” Zakeriya says, proudly. He is attentive and a well-performing pupil at school. The young boy enjoys helping his siblings with their lessons while at home, and his school teachers agree that he is a good student. In his spare time, Zakeriya and his friends play a lot of football, it’s their favorite sport.
By and large, despite her disability, Sahra, and her children were able to survive through difficult life circumstances, thanks to the FS Programme in Hargeisa. Earning a profit of exactly $150 per month, she is currently motivated and is eagerly willing to expand her business in order to become self-sufficient.
In conclusion, the Hoodaale Community of FSP in Hargeisa supports many mothers like Sahra and cares for 61 families with 423 children. The community based organisation continues to manage the revolving loan money and hosts other awareness activities within the community.