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Drought forces young Anab to leave her village – but she does find an education

© UNICEF Somalia/2017/Hashi
Six year old Anab, who was forced to leave her village because of the drought, is now at school for the first time with support from Canada.

By Mohamud Hashi, UNICEF Somalia Education Officer

MOGADISHU, Somalia, 12 September 2017 - The prolonged drought in Somalia has led to difficult decisions for families – whether to stay on their barren land and try to survive, to uproot everyone or to divide the family. Seven year old Anab’s mother died when she was small, and her father was unable to support all five children in their village in Lower Shabelle during the current crisis. So Anab and her sister were sent to live with their aunt in a makeshift settlement on the outskirts of Mogadishu known as Kilometre 13 where he hoped they would receive assistance.

Anab’s aunt, Halima, who does casual work, now looks after Anab, her six year old sister and four of her own children. Anab, her sister and two of her cousins go to Al-Hiddaya school, run by the local NGO Somali Community Concern, where 250 children who have been affected by the drought are getting an education as well as free meals to help them concentrate.

UNICEF Somalia/2017/Hashi
© UNICEF Somalia/2017/Hashi
Children at the UNICEF-support Al-Hiddaya school, many of whom are displaced due to the drought, enjoy a meal thanks to Canadian funding.

Miss Ikram, a teacher at Al-Hiddaya school said that when she arrived, Anab was pale, weak and lethargic. However she said the little girl had grown stronger and was full of enthusiasm and keen to continue her education.

Anab, a softly spoken shy girl, who had never been to school, before said she wanted to be a teacher.

Generous contributions from donors, including, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Japan and Sweden have helped over 6500 children affected by drought to access basic education. They were also provided with school meals and water and sanitation facilities including safe drinking water in 21 new schools along the Afgooye corridor outside Mogadishu.



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