Dalxis, Kismayo town in Somalia, has been the home of 32-year-old Rahmo Mohamed Qalinle for the past seven years. “After being voluntarily repatriated from Kenya’s Daadab refugee camp in 2013, I came back to Dalxis, Somalia with no money and no family“, Recalls Rahmo, “I got married to be able to support myself, but my husband who was a struggling farmer had challenges in growing enough food for our family that would last beyond two months each year.”
Rahmo, now a mother of four children, has struggled to fend for her family trying her luck in various entrepreneurial ventures that gave little to no profits. Without the money or support to back her entrepreneurial spirit, Rahmo was losing interest in earning an income. In 2017, Rahmo started selling household items such as foodstuff and utensils in one of the rooms in her house.
“The $50 to $100 monthly profits I made was not enough to sustain all my family’s needs, and on many occasions, I was forced to get aid from family through fundraising money to support my children’s education. It was very frustrating seeing my children suffer, and I had no means to assist them,” says a distressed Rahmo.
She was among the 80 women selected to be part of the GIZ funded Kismayu Women Economic Empowerment Project 1 (KWEEP 1). Through the project, the women were taken through rigorous training on entrepreneurship, business skills, financial management practices, and Voluntary Savings and Loans (VSL).
“When I was selected to be part of NAPAD’s KWEEP project, I knew it was the chance I had been waiting for to transform my family’s lives, “says the mother of four, “after attending the KWEEP training, I was equipped with business and finance skills to run my business well, I am now in a better position to operate and manage my business. Learning how to create and maintain financial books has enabled me to keep track of my cash flow, and I can now earn up to $300 in monthly profits.”
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) funded project focused on IDPs and returnees in Kismayu with little to no access to any formal training to grow or sustain their enterprises. The project purposed to provide economic opportunities to these women with a view of improving their living standards and that of their households. The women also received business startup kits that would give them a head start to growing successful ventures through the project.
“I received a fridge and stock for my shop from NAPAD. I have diversified my business and now also sell all types of juices, ice creams, and groceries while using the fridge for preservation. I am no longer poor. I can now support my family. My children go to school, and we have enough to eat. I have NAPAD to thank for my good fortune,” says an overjoyed Rahmo.
In the future, she hopes to expand her business and help to empower more women.