Fatuma Ibrahim: Dadaab is an urban setting. The markets are functioning and supplies available locally. AFSC participants can go to a local shop, purchase what he or she would normally purchase. Photo:John Bongei/AFSC
Fatuma Ibrahim's children. These refugee children are happy that their mother received cash grants from AFSC. Photo: John Bongei/AFSC

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Fatuma Ibrahim is 65 years old. She arrived in Dadaab in September 2011. Fatuma left her home in Kismayo when she lost everything she had due to drought and famine. She is a mother of 8 and she has no source of income to cover her family needs including those of her ailing husband. The only asset that Fatuma own is the ratio card, which enables her to receive food ration. Sometimes food distribution dates changes or delays, making life very difficult for Fatuma and her dependants. When she arrived in Dadaab refugee camp, she knew nobody and no one wanted to accommodate her because of her husband’s violence. He has severe mental health issues. With no facilities for those who pose a danger to themselves and others, her husband’s hands are always tied to prevent violence to their children. Fatuma is grateful that she was targeted to receive cash relief. “I have always been seeing other women going to the market and returning home with nice things for their children; I had never been to the market since I had no money to spend. I had never even held Kenyan money. When I received the cash from AFSC, I sat with my children and planned what we needed to buy. I bought shoes for my two daughters and a school uniform for my son. I also bought meat, milk and I paid the debt of Ksh 200 to the shop owner where I had borrowed cooking fat sometime ago. I will start a small business when I received the rest of the money from AFSC.”

Fatuma is a resident at the Dadaab refugee camp since coming from Somalia in 2011. Photo by: John Bongei/AFSC.