In 2014 and 2015, ACTED implemented a project in Baidoa (Bay province, Somalia) funded by the Office of Food for Peace (FFP) through Adeso, a humanitarian and development organization based in Nairobi. The project targets 3,600 households with unconditional cash transfers, with the objective to promote food security and maintain livelihoods of poor households through cash assistance.
Move away to survive
Halgan is a middle-aged woman who has two daughters and four sons. Due to conflict coupled with recurrent drought which resulted to loss of family livelihood, Halgan and her family were forced out of their rural village in Buurhakaba district. Halgan mentions that her family had to travel a distance of 70 km to Baidoa town in search of a livelihood and peace.
Without anything to their name, the family had to make the journey in search of better pastures. It is a decision they had to make in order to survive. On arriving in Baidoa town, they had to create their niche in the only place available for them, the camp for internally displaced people (IDPs). Having nothing much to sustain them, Halgan’s family had to adapt to an IDP setting, which has been their home to date.
Food security and livelihood programmes to restore hope
ACTED has been implementing food security and livelihood programming targeting IDP households in Baidoa town. Under this project, ACTED distributed unconditional cash transfers to 3,500 IDPs and host households. Halgan was one of the beneficiaries.
As ACTED staff listens on, she tells how she was identified by the community as one of the most vulnerable persons to benefit from the project.
“Before the project, I was broken with no source of income and I couldn’t afford tuition fees for my children. I received a total of USD 320 throughout the project. My family could then afford to have three balanced meals in a day and I was able to make little savings to start a small kiosk. I can now afford to take my children to school.”
From mere hope to enthusiasm for the future
Halgan has been working hard to gather profit in order to expand her kiosk. The kiosk benefits the whole IDP camp by availing the commodities needed by the households. IDP settlers no longer have to travel for long distances to acquire basic household commodities such as cooking oil, sugar, salt, pasta, tea leaves, candy, and vegetables.
Halgan has proudly supplied these to the entire IDP community. She has become a role model not only to her children, but has given hope to more people to save the little they have for investment. She looks forward to when she will be stable enough to leave the IDP camp and restart life in a more stable settlement.
With a wide smile across her face, Hagan says, “Before the intervention by ACTED, I could not access even a small amount of credit from the retail shop owners, but now I can get a loan that will expand my small business.”