Somalia: Migrants return home to start new lives

Published: December 16, 2014

Migrants return home to start new lives

Hamdi Abdulkadir, 24, returned to Mogadishu in 2011, after nine years living in refugee camps in Djibouti and Ethiopia.

She is one of a growing number of migrants who decided to quit a troubled life abroad to rebuild a stable future in Somalia.

“Every migrant knows about the tribulations of migration. I was in Awbare refugee camp, east of Ethiopia for six years. I also stayed in Ali Adde refugee camp in Djibouti for three years, and faced risks including rape and killing,” she told Radio Ergo’s local reporter.

Hamdi opened her own beauty salon and shop in Wardigley district, Mogadishu.

“I learnt henna beautification skills in the refugee camps where I used to do beautify treatments for fellow refugee women,” she said.

She is also a part-time university student pursuing a course in social science.

“I am a member of the students’ committee. My small business covers my basic needs and education fees, and I also support my family.”

Abdullahi Hussein Jiir-yare, 26, returned to Mogadishu in 2011 after two difficult and dangerous years in South Africa.

“I left Mogadishu in April 2011, and it took me four months to reach South Africa. I didn’t have valid documents, so I was taken from Mogadishu by smugglers and went through various smugglers’ hands; I eventually entered South Africa after a seven-day journey by boat to Mozambique.”

“I met numerous risks in South Africa. Life was difficult and I was finally fed up. Even people who came earlier than me were fed up and were making little money.”

He used what money he had four years ago to set up a shop in the Kulmiye shopping centrenear Fagah junction and is now a well-known businessman.

“You can now see that I own a good shop! I also started a university course this year in business studies. So I look after my shop one shift, and the other I go to university. I come home in the evening relaxed!”

Several local organisations are running migration awareness programmes. Faisal Guledis vice-chairman of one such group in Mogadishu.

“We go to university campuses, schools and areas where youths gather and advise them against migration. We encourage those who haven’t studied to go to school. We also persuade young people to start any type of jobs to deter them from the riskyjourneys that can endanger their lives,” Faisal said.


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