In the Somalian war zone, community centers are safe havens

Three Somali men riding horses in the desert. Three Somali men riding horses in the desert. Mohamed Zekry via Pexels

14 September 2022

Community centers in Somalia have proven to be the main space for IDPs protection from the disruption of war. There, entire displaced families are trying to live normal lives.

The Somalia Humanitarian Fund has funded the construction of community centers for internally displaced people (IDPs) in Kaxda and Deynille districts, respectively, in Somalia's Banadir Region. Community centers help strengthen coexistence among IDPs and allow access to crucial information for residents of IDP sites. They also provide women with a safe space where they can speak freely without fear.

The centers are located strategically in areas with a higher concentration of people and not covered by other agencies. Before construction began, NoFYL consulted IDPs on the building process and the area of construction for accessibility. Mohamed Abdi Isaq, a camp leader from Bananey IDP site, explained the importance of involving camp leaders in the initial construction process, he also explained the benefits attached to the creation of such centers that maintain the people close together in the struggles of everyday life as conflicts unleash, and uncertainty is permanent.

The centers are coordinated by partners such as Danish and Norwegian Refugee Councils and Save the Children. "This center here is a blessing to us," said Xaawo Maxamed Jimcale from Iskaashi IDP site in Deynille district. The coming together of people from different sites has improved information sharing among communities and with the partners, mobilization, and it raised awareness on complex issues.

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by Viola Rubeca

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