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Ruweyda Ahmed, 38-year-old, a mother of 8 children calmly sits in her new homebased petty business nursing her baby and at same time waiting for customers to buy her items.

Ruweyda is among the many IDPs that live in the outskirts of Mogadishu IDP camps. She fled from Kuntuwaarey, Middle Shabelle four years ago due to drought. As the breadwinner of a household composed of nine members, she was lucky enough to be one of the 150 beneficiaries that have received unconditional multi-purpose cash transfer support provided by Save Somali Women and Children (SSWC). Taking advantage of the cash assistance and her desire to improve her life alongside her orphaned children, she invested a portion of the money in a petty business in her home where she sells basic items that are in demand in the camp.

“I felt happy when I received $70 through EVC. At first, I cleared 3 months’ fees arrears of the Quran school. Then I did little shopping for the children and bought basic food items such as rice, spaghetti and vegetables with remaining amount and some with credit purchase with the aim of starting business in the camp,” says Ruweyda.

Ruweyda used to travel to downtown early morning everyday to look for temporary unpredictable casual work like washing clothes, cleaning and other poorly paid house chores to earn a living for her children. She used to return back to her house in the evening only to meet her children in desperate situation where she can clearly read from their faces the restlessness, hunger and struggle they have undergone throughout the day.

This petty homebased business relieved me of the many financial burden I had been facing before. I used to travel in the morning to downtown to find unpredictable casual work such as washing clothes, cleaning among others and return back in the afternoon with meagre money on average of Ssh 15,000 ($0.60). In some occasion, I return back with nothing, despite the children suffering the whole day. Now I feel happy staying with my children while earning my daily bread from this business,” Added Ruweyda.

Amid difficulty financial situation, Ruweyda has high ambition to educate her children and she says “My eldest son has now reached the age to attend school but now I am struggling to get his school uniform and fee”. Ruweyda expressed hope and expects her business to grow. She reiterated the importance of the cash transfer as it provides flexibility to the beneficiaries. Additional cash assistance will enable Ruweyda and other beneficiaries to flourish their homebased small business and engage alternative income generating activities.

Some drought affected families that reside in the IDP camps in Mogadishu received unconditional cash assistant support from SSWC. This was funded by Dutch Relief Alliance (DRA) through OXFAM as part of Somalia’s Joint Response project (SOMJR). The beneficiaries received direct transfer of cash to their cell phones through EVC mobile money transfer. Families enjoy the flexibility of the cash as they buy what they need most. In addition to the unconditional cash transfers, the SOMJR project implemented by SSWC also imparts IDPs with income generating skills like tailoring, provision of solar lanterns, hygiene promotion and psychosocial support services for SGBV survivors among other activities. The project will run until December, 2023.

For the fourth consecutive year, Somalia is facing severe drought with over half the population at risk of famine. Aid agencies warn of unwanted consequences if urgent response is not received. Food, water and shelter remain the basic needs required by the millions of Somalis affected by the drought and inflation.

Fardowsa smiles proudly as she receives start-up kits from Save Somali Women and Children (SSWC). 70 beneficiaries among Fardowsa benefited from vocational skills training provided by SSWC between September to December 2020.

Fardowsa Mohamed, a widow of three children lives in Deynile district, Mogadishu. She is one of the Zanzibar asylum seekers that sought refuge in Somalia. In 2020, she was selected for a skills training on “Saloon services, Beauty therapist and Hinna application” implemented by SSWC and supported by UNHCR. The program which run for four months had its graduates receive start-up kits to initiate their own business.

It has been my passion to learn this skill. I always admired Saloon and make-up,” says Fardowsa.

These skills have their own importance to the society. You don’t need to beg anyone. You make use of your skill to earn money,”

Mohamed enjoys the ease of doing make-up and at the same time caring her children at home.

I do saloon and make-up in my house. Friends and family members visit me here. Besides keeping in touch with my children, I also earn income while at home.”

Besides Saloon and make up/beauty skills training, there was also a concurrent 4 months computer application and secretarial skills training where 35 of the total 70 beneficiaries graduated. Refugees and Asylum seekers in Somalia remain in the mercy of the humanitarian agencies in providing relief and other assistance. More than 14,000 Yemeni refugees have sought shelter in Somalia since March 2015 as per the UNHCR December 2019 report.

SSWC remain committed to supporting and imparting income generating skills to those in need. In 2019, SSWC trained 377 refugees and asylum seekers on pastry and tailoring skills and provided start-up funds to 210 SME training graduates.


SSWC Headquarters, Soobe,
Wadajir Mogadishu Somalia

Phone: +254 20 374 4083
Mobile: +252 6184 72202