Every morning at 8:00 a.m. Halima Ibrahim prepares for her usual rounds of trekking from house to house selling Baati and Garbasaar – a traditional Somali cotton dress and head scarf. This has been her daily routine since she first set foot in Malawle,IDP camp in the capital of Somaliland, Hargeisa, more than two years ago. “I was a business women on a Hargeisa road named ‘150’ before land ownership conflict broke out and I had no choice but to settle in Malawle with my four children,” Halima said.
On arrival to the camp in Malawle, she used her savings to start a small business selling clothes to her neighbors. On a good day she earns $3. Other times her customers buy clothes on credit. Halima is one of the beneficiaries in Malawle IDP camp that receive a $400 loan from the CBO ( Community-Based-Organization), established by SOS Children’s Village’s in Somaliland by the DRA funded project, in an effort to help them make ends meet and grow their small businesses. Halima has now taken a business training provided by the organization and says: “Now I can better plan myself on how to use the money on food and buy a few more clothes for my business.”
Halima’s world fell apart two years ago when her husband and the family’s breadwinner died of car accident. The accident happened on the day she gave birth to their fourth and youngest child, Ahmed. Devastated, she cried at the thought of raising her young children alone, without an income. “I grew up in a poor family but somehow food was not an issue. However, being a single mother with four children was a completely new thing for me,” says Halima. “The degree of challenge and frustration is more than one can imagine. Everything was in short supply every day and so I worried constantly for every meal.” “I also had to deal with my three older children,” she adds. “They were very sad and confused by the death of their father and the arrival of a new baby. The first three months were very hard for them, but they adjusted when they realized that things were not going to be easy for us.”