A better livelihood for Safiyo

The smile on Safiyo Hassan Jama’s* face reveals her satisfaction at moving up from a casual labourer to a livestock farmer. She is a beneficiary of UNDP’s Area-based Early Recovery for Affected Communities (ABER) project.

”I never would have believed it ─ a healthy milk cow and a calf are great assets for my family. They have drastically improved the quality of life for my family. My parents are very old. I am a single child, and my husband may have died at sea,” she narrates.

Safiyo participated in a community orientation and mobilization exercise in Mahaday in September 2009. The following month, she was rewarded with a milk cow and a calf under the ABER project.

The animals have become the source of her livelihood: “I milk the cow two times a day. It gives me 12 litres of milk, which I sell for 4 dollars. I spend 1 dollar on the cow and the rest on my family.”

The 38-year-old mother of 3 was born into an agro-pastoralist family. She got married in 1996, but her husband fled Mogadishu at the height of the civil war in 2004. He went through Bossaso towards Yemen, but his whereabouts are unknown. Safiyo is now the sole breadwinner for the family.

“I make enough to feed the family and save,” she says. “I plan to start a small kiosk business and do farming. The proceeds will go towards education for my children.”

Safiyo and some of her neighbours together express their appreciation for the ABER project, with her friends hoping that Safiyo will be able to sustain her improved livelihood.

The Area-based Early Recovery for Affected Communities project aims at improving productive and sustainable livelihood assets in selected regions of South Central Somalia.