Displaced children in Somalia find solace

Famine and war continue to afflict Somalia resulting in the displacement of thousands of children.

In the camps of Mogadishu, displaced children have been provided with counseling and psychological support in a bid to help them overcome stress caused by the trauma they have endured.

Children currently live in temporary shelters with limited resources of food, water and sanitation. The camps provide a source of solace for the children who have escaped famine, drought and conflict while some have watched family members die.

Hundreds of thousands of families have been forced out of their homes into Somalia's besieged capital Mogadishu and other areas due to the drought and ongoing violence across the war-torn country.

Charities and government agencies continue to prioritize working in camps which provide food and clothing as well as better security.

There are also child experts who are solely working on rehabilitating thousands of displaced children.

Tents just for children have been erected by the United Nations children's fund UNICEF where they can meet other children and participate in activities for them. Trained psychologists and social workers monitor those who have experienced serious trauma.

A UNICEF representative, Said Ahmed, says nearly all of the children that come to this tent need help of some kind.

“Before I came here it was really difficult, and I had a lot of problems,” said Sadiq Abdi Aden. “But since I came here and I have been very happy - and I get to play football.”

Trained social workers specialize in identifying problems children may be suffering from, and that too in silence.

Brown Kanyangi, UNICEF consultant says simply playing together can help children feel better about themselves.

“It’s like psycho-social support because children can come together, whenever they’re stressed, the act of being together with other children can relieve some of the stress,” he said.

With the help of partner organizations as well as volunteers, UNICEF tents have sheltered 31,000 Somali children.


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