Somalia Newsletter Issue No. 1 - Voluntary Repatriation
IN THIS ISSUE
Page 1 Rebuilding lives of Somali refugees returning from Kenya
Page 2 Assistance to Somali refugee returnees from Kenya to Somalia
Page 3 Voluntary repatriation in first part of the year
Page 4 The enhanced return package improved the living conditions of returnees
Page 4 Returnees continue their education in Somalia
Rebuilding lives of Somali refugees returning from Kenya
Somali refugee returnees have re-established their lives after benefiting from the UNHCR voluntary repatriation programme
In the first six months of 2017, UNHCR supported the return of 28,757 Somali refugees from Kenya and provided them an enhanced return package to restore their lives in Somalia.
One of them was Hawa (not her real name), a mother of six children, who decided to return to Somalia in January with the assistance of UNHCR under the voluntary repatriation programme and rebuild life of her family in Somalia after she benefited from a livelihood programme.
After 11 years in Kenya as a refugee, Hawa and her family decided to return home.
In order to succeed in her reintegration and become self-reliant Hawa was enrolled in a small-business program. She received training on business and entrepreneurial skills and a start-up grant. Hawa successfully completed the programme, invested her knowledge and grant in a small business and opened a grocery store which generated an income for her family.
Five months later Hawa said with smile on her face: “Life could have been too difficult for us without UNHCR support, normally the first interaction between a mother and her baby is breastfeeding, therefore, I regard UNHCR the mother of all refugees.”
Hawa is one of the 2,523 beneficiaries who benefited from various livelihood programs aimed to support returnees to meet their basic needs and improve their living conditions.
Out of 2,523 beneficiaries, 1,010 were enrolled in technical and vocational trainings, 918 were part of cash-for-work projects, 463 were provided with guidance on self-employment, 110 were enrolled in small-business program and 22 attended peaceful coexistence forums.
Out of 1,010 beneficiaries of technical and vocational trainings 110 have graduated. They obtained skills on fish preservation, construction, fabric dying, information technilogy, baking, tailoring, and air conditioner and refrigerator repair.
Another 918 beneficiaries were engaged in rehabilitation of public infrastructure through a cash-for-work programme and 110 beneficiaries who were part of small-business program have already established their businesses through microfinance support. These included: retail shops, transport services, vegetable shops, restaurants, kiosks, and grocery and butcher shops