ACTNews, BAIDOA – There’s so much to learn from Somalia, a country located in the Horn of Africa, about fortitude and endurance. The conflict that has been going on for decades in this country has taught Somalia many lessons.
The conflict in Somalia has gone through many ebbs and flows. At times, the conflict devastated the country badly, leaving millions of people displaced, seeking refuge in the neighboring countries. In the last decade, although the conflict is still raging, the condition has been improving. Slowly, Somalia is rising from chaos although the number of Internally Displaced People (IDP) is still high. Without jobs, they live inside makeshift tents supported by wooden sticks. They have no money nor power.
Eid-ul-Adha, a reliever of Somalia’s grief
Despite the vast distance, for the people of Indonesia, Somalia is not a strange country. For years, there has been a strong humanitarian bond between the two countries. Last year there has been numerous humanitarian initiatives for the people of Somalia.
It started with the departure of the first batch of Humanitarian Ship for Africa, followed by the departure of the second batch a few months later. Both ships arrived at the port of Mogadishu, carrying thousands of tons of rice to alleviate the hunger of the Somalis.
The climax came during Eid-ul-Adha 1438 AH in September 2017. No less than 1,000 cattle from the people of Indonesia were slaughtered in Somalia. The meat was then distributed to every corner of Somalia, reaching every refugee pocket from Mogadishu, Jowhar, and the dry, barren land of Baidoa.
For Global Qurban, Somalia is one of the main target of qurbani distribution each year. The reasin is clear: although the conflict is slowly receding, but the humanitarian crisis still hasn’t ended. According to UNHCR, until March 2018, the number of Internally Displaced People in Somalia has reached more than 1.5 million people.
The first day of Eid-ul-Adha in Mogadishu
A year ago, since the very first day of Eid-ul-Adha in Mogadishu, Friday (9/1/2017), Global Qurban slaughtered hundreds of cattle in a day. Dozens of tons of fresh meat were loaded onto an old truck that probably has witnessed decades of conflict. That day, the destination was Malable refugee settlement, one of many refugee settlements in suburban Mogadishu.
“Every few hundred meters there is a refugee settlement, each separated by dusty buildings like markets and stores. We visited Malable camp, one of the densely populated refugee camps in Mogadishu,” said Bambang Triyono, Implementation Coordinator of Global Qurban in Somalia.
The makeshift tents were spread irregularly. The tents were crowded, dirty, full of holes but no clean water. They were almost similar to the honai houses in Papua.
Here, more than 300 households received the same amount of fresh meat. Each qurbani package was unloaded from the truck as the recipients express their gratefulness enthusiastically with wide smiles and crossed arms as a sign of saying thanks. “Mahadsanid Indonesia, Masha Allah Mahadsani,” said one of the ladies. Mahadsonid means “thank you” in Somali.
Qurbani from Indonesia reaches Baidoa
Qurbani for Mogadishu had been fully distributed, but the humanitarian mission hasn’t finished. A year ago, Global Qurban team also moved to Baidoa City, spending three days after Eid in Baidoa, a small city 243 kilometers north of Mogadishu. Baidoa is a capital of Bay Region.
Every year, we go back to Baidoa, and celebrating Eid-ul-Adha with thousands of refugees in Baidoa is a routine. Every time we return to this city, the situation never really changes. Baidoa is filled with dust, even thicker than Mogadishu. Dryness, sand, and poverty filled almost every corner of the city.
Why do Indonesians need to deliver their qurbani all the way to Baidoa? Since the early 90’s to late 2012, Baidoa has witnessed a long history of colonialization, conquest, and liberation by the Somali government with the assistance of African Union Peacekeeping Forces.
Now, Baidoa is a lot safer than it used to be. The safety, however, still hasn’t solved the extreme poverty problem in the region. Their houses are nothing but makeshift tents made of tattered fabrics and wooden sticks. Strong stenches, dirt and dryness filled the refugee settlements dwelled by thousands of families in Baidoa.
In September 2017, Global Qurban carried out their mission in Baidoa, Somalia, to slaughter hundreds of cattle on an open field. Tens of tons of fresh beef were carried to a refugee settlement called Abu Ashara, a densely populated refugee settlement.
“The people of Baidoa call this camp Abu Ashara, like the name of the region. This camp is a home to thousands of families who formerly lived in Dadaab Camp,” said Aliman Ali, a Global Qurban partner in Baidoa.
Arriving at Abu Ashara camp, hundreds of refugee families were standing in line, most of whom were women. “Each of the qurbani meat packages wrapped in thick bags with Global Qurban logo on them were distributed. Warm smiles in Abu Ashara camp concluded the story of Global Qurban implementation in 2017 for Somalia. “Mahadsanid Baidoa. Mahadsanid Indonesia,” concluded Bambang Triyono.