This year’s Trócaire Box tells the story of one Somali family who are struggling to survive. Ambiyo, her husband Mahat, and their eight young children are among hundreds of thousands of Somalis forced to flee their homes due to a fourth consecutive year of drought which has ravaged the country.
After their crops failed and the last of their goats died their only option was to leave or stay and face starvation and death. After walking for three days, they arrived at a camp for displaced people with nothing but the clothes on their backs.
Ambiyo was pregnant when she arrived at the camp and when she was giving birth, she experienced serious complications. She was taken to the nearby health centre run by Trόcaire where she and the baby received life-saving treatment. Trócaire runs all of the health services in the Gedo district of Somalia. In recent months the number of young children presenting with malnutrition has trebled, and there is growing pressure on the services.
Ambiyo’s biggest wish is for a better life for her family and for her children to get an education.
“Most of all I want my children’s lives to be better. I want them to go to school and to have a good education. I did not go to school and my husband did not go to school. I am happy to be in Luuq as we are near the health services so if my children get sick, they will get help. It is good to be here where we have supports. Being here gives me hope.”
Mahat echoes his wife’s wish for their children to have an education.
“Before we met Trócaire life was very tough for us here. We had nothing in our hands. We would send our daughter Willow to wash clothes for people to try and raise money. The little money she would get we used for our food. We had to put food on the table. She would also go and search for firewood to sell so we could buy food. Our daughter did those chores as I could not get a job. There was no work for me at all, I tried every day. So, I had to get my daughter to work. This broke my heart. I am the father and the head of the household and it is I who should be earning money. Our daughter should be in school getting an education. My biggest wish for all of my children is they get an education.”