Dangerous work: A snapshot of your orphan support in Somalia
An integral part of Orphans in Need’s work consists of undertaking annual monitoring visits to the 14 countries we operate in. The purpose of these monitoring visits is to ensure that our donors’ funds are being delivered effectively by our country offices and the partner organisations we work with. The visits are also an opportunity to learn about the other work of our partners and to give them any extra support they may require, in addition to auditing our partner’s finances, orphan files as well as relevant policies and procedures.
International Programmes Officer, Mohamed Maigag recently visited Somalia, where we are currently sponsoring 348 orphans thanks to the generosity and financial contributions of our donors.
According to a report produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), Somalia is ranked as the 6th most dangerous country in the world. Its capital city Mogadishu, also known as Xamar is the location of our local partner office. The city is amongst the most perilous in the world, under constant threats of bombings and other terrorist attacks. To put that into perspective, over the last year, eight of the most famous hotels in Mogadishu where bombed by Al-Shabaab, who are against foreign presence in Somalia. It’s against this backdrop of security issues that Orphans in Need supports vulnerable orphans and undertakes monitoring visits to measure the impact of our work.
We visited orphan families in Mogadishu and Afgooye, a town in the South-eastern Shebelle region of Somalia and interviewed 25 of our sponsored orphans and their widow mothers. During such interviews, we asked key questions about what the sponsorship funds are used for, the educational progress and health conditions of the children and how satisfied orphan families are with the services we provide.
We also had the opportunity to witness the distribution of 220 food parcels to widow families in Mogadishu, funded by our generous donors. Widow Mumina had travelled the 30km from Afgooye to collect her food parcel. She received 25kg of rice, 10kg of flour, 5kg of sugar, 2kg of dates, 250g of tea and 2 litres of oil.
We took the opportunity to visit Mumina and her children in their home to hear their story
10 year old Baker (first left) lives with his widow mother Mumina (second left), his 8 year old sister Hamara (first right) and his half-brother and sister who are 4 and 2 years respectively. They all live in one bedroom within a small house that is shared with relatives.
Mumina has sadly been widowed twice, which is not uncommon in Somalia. Her first husband died in 2008 of Malaria and her second husband died two years ago of diarrhoea. The family have been struggling without the support of a male breadwinner.
Orphans in Need currently sponsor Baker. Thanks to this sponsorship, Baker is a healthy and happy boy, is able to go to school full time and he’s is doing very well. The sponsorship amount also provides for food for the family.
Mumina works morning shifts on a farm to harvest vegetables while the children are looked after by Baker’s eight year old sister, Hamara, who is able to Quran School but only in the afternoon once her mum returns from the field.
Orphans in Need is planning to sponsor the rest of the family so that Mumina is able to provide for the full time love and care that her children need and so that her children can all attend school full time.