In summer 2011, when famine and violence were engulfing her country, Fadumo “Mama” Sharif Mohamed left Somalia with her husband and ten children. On their eight-day trek to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, militia attacked them and they lost the family’s food. Her children, like thousands of others, suffered from malnutrition.
But she and her family made it to the refugee camp and were put in a section called Kambioos, where Catholic Relief Services (a Caritas member based in the USA) is working to build and improve water systems.
Fadumo became a leader as she settled into camp life. She was the founding member of the MIDNIMO women’s group, which began with 25 people and today has 183 members. The group does basket weaving, woodcarving, and henna decorating, and also bakes traditional bread. Due to strong management, the women’s group is able to successfully earn money by selling their wares in one of the marketplaces in the refugee camp. The profit they earn from their sales is put back into the business and it is then subdivided amongst group members. Continue reading