Puntland Youth Peer Network
Fatima's Story Success Stories
Monday, 18 Oct 2021 00:00 am
Puntland Youth Peer Network

Puntland Youth Peer Network

There is a significant section of population in Somalia belonging to economically low class. It is essential for the children of this community to rise beyond their limitations and secure themselves a secure and dignified livelihood. One such inspiring story of struggle and success comes from Fatima Abdirahman Adam.

Fatima is 21 old young woman living in Bilan IDP camp in Garowe. she has been a frequent visitor of Tilmaamo center since she participated in the youth skill training program, especially Beauty Care at Tilmaame Youth Resources Center.

She hails from an economically weak family, Her father works as a carpenter with meager earnings, drawing bare minimum wages and her mom although taking the role of a full time house-wife, does two to three different jobs so she could cover their day to day. With family income of 200 per month, Fatima had little hopes for securing a bright and sustainable future. Fatima’s visit to the center motivated her to join the Beauty Care Skill Training. Assuring herself and her family, she enrolled for the three-months course where she learned henna, haie and makeup as well as other courses. The training developed her self-confidence and after completing the course, she secured an Internship at AC Milan Beauty Care in Garowe, and is now full time employed there, she is hoping to open her own beauty salon one day so she could better support herself and her family.


“I have gone through a lot since my childhood," she said, telling us her story, "I've been a victim of FGM just like 97% of Somali girls my age, at the age of 8 I was forced to go through the Female Genital Mutilation process which was the most harmful thing that has happen to me at that moment. I never knew the consequences, I mean I was 8, I barely knew anything. 'Circumcision was way to become fully grown woman' they said. I have seen a lot of my siblings and friends go through the same horror process."

"Being from marginalized and stigmatized community, life was never easy for us. I never had the opportunity for education or good health care.  I've seen too many unfortunate things happen in the camps. I grew up to an educated parents, sometimes I blamed them for the difficult lifes we lived, but I know that they didn't have the chances I did. I was never enlightened or educated by anyone but thanks to Puntland YPEER for the efforts and dedication they have uplifted many Somali youth. For my case one day they visited our camp where we were informed about the effects of FGM and other violence acts and I came to realize, I was a victim. During that same day I was shamed for asking more about the topic ,I had to ask some questions to the clinic officers who came to the camp. It was not an easy approach at first because we are adviced by elders and our mothers not to discuss or share matters concerning our bodies with others, I asked them and they advised me to come to Tilimame Youth Resource Center. I was happy I had the chance to privately discuss things that troubled since I was a child and was received well by members at the center .I was glad also to meet some friends who we shared similira stories at the center. I was advised to come and be part of students, for someone illiterate, it was an honor to receive free services provided by young people for young people."

 

"Women and girls in Somalia face a lot of challenges, we have been victims of old superstations and cultures that do only damages and obsolutely no good. And I wish one we will be able to stop these violence which has no base in our religion, we are the agents of change, Like many women and girls FGM has left me in a lot of pain in both physically and mentally.”

"Today at the age of 21, I'm the first in my family to have the chance for education, I'm currently employed and and I'm an activist that helps other victims of both FGM and GBV to reach out and ask for help"

By telling her story, Fatima is not only raising awareness about FGM but is helping her self and other survivors to find peace, many girls are not allowed to go the doctor or seek guidance when it comes to FGM. 

"I was not the only girl who has gained a lot from the center but on their behalf of all of my colleagues we wish to thank Puntland Ypeer and UNFPA SOMALIA for supporting and empowering youths in Puntland, we as youth we continue to work closely with them in fighting all forms of violence against our women and girls."