Fatima | She/Her
Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands
Session 9: May 24, 2023
The story I’m going to tell you guys is about a lady called Amina. I met Amina when I was working in one of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps here in Somalia.
Amina was a strong woman, full of courage and determination. She lived in a small village in Somalia with her five children and husband. They lived a happy life, with Amina taking care of the children and her husband working in the fields to grow crops. However, all of this changed when drought hit their village. Amina’s crops withered away, and she lost every single one. One by one. She was scared that her children would die due to starvation. She could not bear to see the pain in their eyes, so she decided to move away from the village as soon as possible.
Amina was heavily pregnant, but she did not let that stop her. She walked four miles with her five children until they reached a village. However, they were still in dire need of help. The villagers took pity on them and helped Amina give birth to her sixth child. The villages provided the family with food and water. Amina was extremely grateful for the help. She knew, however, that she could not stay there forever, so she decided to take her children to the capital city of Somalia, Mogadishu, hoping to find better opportunities there. Amina boarded a minibus with her six children and rode until they arrived at an IDP camp.
The camp leader welcomed them and gave them shelter to stay in. Amina was overwhelmed by the sheer number of people living in the camp, but she knew that this was the only option left for them. They could not go back to their village or they would die of starvation. They had to stay in this overcrowded camp—that was their last resort.
For the first few weeks, Amina and her children struggled to adapt to the new environment. They missed their home in the village and longed to go back. However, with time, they learned to adjust and make the best of their situation. Amina started doing laundry for other families to make a living and earn a sort of income for the children.
You might be wondering where the father is. It’s very common for women in my country to bear all the responsibilities, especially during droughts. When I go to the IDP camps, it’s mostly the mothers and children. They are the most affected ones, and they are the ones who bear all the pain and all the responsibility, whether it’s man-made or conflict or even natural disaster.
Amina continues to hope that the drought will end soon and that she and her family can go back to their village. However, for the time being, the IDP camp is their new home.
That is the story of Amina.
Fatima is a media professional in Somalia with a passion for storytelling and advancing causes affecting her people. She strives to raise awareness of critical issues, and dreams of one day applying her skills on the international stage as a media personnel.