UNITED AFTER A DECADE AND SEPARATED IN A WEEK
By: Moulid Iftin Hujale.
Mohamud wadar Amey separated from his parents at a tender age. He is now 28 and lives with his Aunt Halim, a mother of 7 children. He lost his father in Somalia when he was 9 years old.
His mother, Zamzam mohamed and siblings were reported to have been living at Ogadenia region in Ethiopia. Amey had not seen his beloved mother for the past 14 years.
He is currently living at IFO refugee camp in Dadaab, northern Kenya.
Amey completed his primary education in 2000 and was enrolled in IFO secondary school. Chances of joining secondary schools in the camps are limited, and those who made it are seen as extraordinary and hardworking. Amey contributes his success to his aunt who he says is one in a million. “She is both a father and a mother to me.” He says.
“I never thought of dropping out of school, but at times there are some feelings that you cant ignore.” he pleads with bitterness. “I could not bear to watch my aunt fetching firewood from the forest just to put food on the table.” He explains.
To look for firewood in the forest is not an easy task due to the harsh environment in the camp and the far distance one has to go. Moreover, it is very risky for vulnerable women to go alone. Many women are raped in the process.
Amey decided to help his aunt by any means. What about his school, he has to call it quit. He started doing odd jobs and later became a primary teacher in 2005. This would help stop his aunt from risking her life.
Being a teacher did not stop him from playing his role as a youth. This was a self initiative that he meant to develop his community. He joined a youth group who campaigned against FGM, HIV/AIDS, and DRUG ABUSE etc.
He also contributed to the Dawn newsletter that was published by CARE after receiving basic journalism training.
This experience leads him to report for STAR FM, a local radio broadcast based in northeastern Kenya. His voice is heard all over the province. This gives him a little taste of being a celebrity.
HOPE FOR RESETTLENT
The unforgettable day came when Amey’s aunt was scheduled for resettlement. “I saw her name on the notice board in the market.” He says. It never fails to put smile on the faces of many refugees when the news of resettlement reaches them.
The long journey starts after going through the first screening phase and second phase at UNHCR field office. The only single hope that keeps them going, when asked about, most refugees will tell you RESETLEMENT. Luckily, Halima was among the few families whose case was submitted to the Sweden embassy.
They have gone through all stages of interviews, medical check ups; orientation and now are scheduled for flight to Sweden. They will be leaving for Nairobi on 17th Sep and later will fly to the country of their dream.
Fortunately, Amey’s beloved mother whom he has been missing for the past 14 years, a half of his life comes to Dadaab. However, he has only two weeks to stay in the camp. “I almost tempted to cancel my flight; there are no words to express my feelings” says Amey. “I do not know what to do of such situation, I am in dilemma.”
It is not easy to have his mother included in the resettlement process. His mother is not registered and it is too late to start a fresh. In whichever circumstance he has to go. His mother understands the nostalgic situation and encourages her son to go ahead. “The one GOD who united us is a live and will never die; in HIS will, we shall meet again” she persuades her son as tears roll down her cheeks.
In these few days with his mother, Amey has to keep her company as she narrates what happened in his absence. He also shared with her all that he went through in the camps.
He says that he learnt to struggle and can now stand on his own feet. “Were it not for Aunt Halima, I would have gone a stray.” He tells his mother.
Amey has a lot to share with his mother but time will not allow. His dream after having resettled is to work hard to bring his mother to Sweden and live with her happily. He wants to have bright future so that he can help his war torn country, Somalia. “I would like to go back one day and bring change in my country” he concludes.