May 22, 2014

Hygiene awareness for Somali refugees in Kenya

By |22 May 2014|

Caritas confederation member organisations funded a project aimed to improve sanitation and hygiene in Kambioos camp

October 10, 2012

Caritas appeals for help in famine-hit Somalia

By |10 October 2012|

Caritas is appealing for funds to help farming households in Somalia struggling with famine following a long-term drought. Funds will support Catholic Relief Services (CRS – a US member of the Caritas confederation) who are working with local partners on a five month emergency programme in the neediest areas of south central Somalia. CRS requires a total of US$2.6 million (€2 million) for the programme, which will run until March 2013. Of this, US1.9 million (€1.5 million) is sought among members of the Caritas confederation. “The nutritional situation is critical in some areas of southern Somalia,” says Malone Miller, country manager for CRS Somalia. “Many adults are eating just one meal a day and children also don’t have enough to eat. Families are selling livestock, borrowing money and migrating in search of food and work.” CRS will focus on providing food to 5000 agro-pastoralist households to support them until the next harvest in [...]

August 17, 2012

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    For Somali refugees, handwashing lessons from a surprising teacher

For Somali refugees, handwashing lessons from a surprising teacher

By |17 August 2012|

In a refugee camp in northern Kenya, someone is teaching people how to wash their hands properly. The demonstrator lathers the soap, pours water, and rubs her hands together in a circular motion.

East Africa, one year later

By |9 August 2012|

The situation in 2011 was very critical. Thanks to the Caritas member organisations who supported us, our programmes have saved lives. Supplementary food has been distributed for some malnourished children in some pocket areas through Catholic health institutions and this contributed to save lives of this children.

May 16, 2012

Caritas aids Somali refugee women in Kenya

By |16 May 2012|

In summer 2011, when famine and violence were engulfing her country, Fadumo “Mama” Sharif Mohamed left Somalia with her husband and ten children. On their eight-day trek to the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, militia attacked them and they lost the family’s food. Her children, like thousands of others, suffered from malnutrition. But she and her family made it to the refugee camp and were put in a section called Kambioos, where Catholic Relief Services (a Caritas member based in the USA) is working to build and improve water systems. Fadumo became a leader as she settled into camp life. She was the founding member of the MIDNIMO women’s group, which began with 25 people and today has 183 members. The group does basket weaving, woodcarving, and henna decorating, and also bakes traditional bread. Due to strong management, the women’s group is able to successfully earn money by selling their […]

February 1, 2012

Where next for Somalia?

By |1 February 2012|

Drought and conflict grip Somalia, making it one of the most challenging environments in the world for humanitarian operations. Lack of governance or structures mean the task of providing aid is even tougher. Somalia doesn’t just need aid, it needs a way out of this catastrophe. Bishop Giorgio Bertin of Caritas Somalia and Caritas Djibouti is in the United States to draw attention to the broader issues of the Somalia crisis at the UN and with Caritas partners and Catholic Church. He has been leading relief efforts on behalf Caritas in Somalia as famine was declared in parts of the country last July. “After 21 years with no governance, Somalia needs law and order,” says Bishop Bertin. “We need to search more carefully to see what options there are for order, stability, and peace. “We hear lots about piracy and the refugee crisis, but not about the people who are suffering there. [...]

December 15, 2011

East Africa after the Food Crisis

By |15 December 2011|

Your support helped over one million people in East Africa overcome their worst drought in 60 years. You made it possible for Caritas to distribute emergency food, create water projects, and give out seeds so farmers can rebuild. In November 2011, Caritas Communications Officer Laura Sheahen visited Kenya to see the community response in action. Explore the features below to find out how your support made a difference. When drought pits neighbour against neighbour “Herdsmen came here looking for pasture,” says Mwinzi Munyoki Tutu, a young farmer in southern Kenya. “We refused.” ‘You heard our cries’: hunger in East Africa “I met a woman who was crying because she couldn’t remember the last time she had seen so much food.” Seeds of hope after drought “When you’re hungry, if you have seeds, you start cooking.” Kotola Susana grins ruefully as he describes the situation of many of his fellow Kenyan farmers. Kenyan students back to school Alice had [...]

October 12, 2011

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    East Africa food crisis a ‘tragedy of biblical proportions’

East Africa food crisis a ‘tragedy of biblical proportions’

By |12 October 2011|

Ken Hackett, President of Catholic Relief Services (a Caritas member in the USA), spoke about the Horn of Africa food crisis at a press conference held in Rome on 7 October. Having worked in East Africa for over 35 years, I am deeply saddened to witness a tragedy of biblical proportions unfolding again. I thank the Holy Father for calling the Church’s–and the world’s–attention to the plight of hungry and distressed people across the Horn of Africa. Catholic Relief Services, along with local Church and Caritas organisations at the diocesan and national levels, as well as non-Catholic groups and host governments, have been helpful in bringing short- and long-term interventions to families in distress. In response to the situation facing the people of the Horn—including Somalis both in Somalia and those who have had to flee to neighbouring countries for safety—CRS has committed to expanding our long-term development and immediate […]

Q and A Horn of Africa

By |6 October 2011|

What is the humanitarian situation in the Horn of Africa?  In Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, and nearby areas, a severe drought has led to massive numbers of people going hungry. Famine has been declared in several districts of Somalia. Because goats and cattle are dying of thirst and starvation, people who herd livestock are losing their source of food. Hundreds of thousands of children are malnourished. The extreme weather has dried up crops, as well as rivers and other water sources. These losses come at a time when farming households’ food supplies are already extremely low, as they wait for their mid-year harvest to mature--if they were able to plant crops or have not used the seeds to feed their families. Sharply rising food prices--caused not only by the drought but by world economic conditions--have affected many impoverished people in the region, including those in towns and cities. What are people doing to cope?  Hundreds [...]

July 27, 2011

Fleeing Somalia: the men who kill for goats

By |27 July 2011|

By Laura Sheahen “Aden, my oldest son, was four years old. He was watching our goats,” says Ahada, a Somali woman in her early twenties. “Men with guns came and wanted the animals. Aden shouted, ‘Don’t take our goats!’” Ahada’s small son was caught in the midst of the chaotic, seemingly never-ending war in Somalia. Armed bandits, militias and other violent groups terrorize the country’s rural population, who are mostly nomadic herdsmen. Children are not spared. Aden wasn’t. Aden was shot and killed in the midst of a drought that was leading to famine. Ahada’s husband was also killed by militants. After that she knew she had to flee. She’d heard of a country called Kenya, so she took her two children there, crossing the border. Thousands of other mothers were making the journey as well. Thirty-year-old Hawa, a mother of seven, was eight months pregnant as she walked for ten days, carrying [...]

Somalis face perilous journey to escape famine

By |25 July 2011|

By Laura Sheahen, Death by starvation, death by lions and hyenas or death by armed bandits. Which do you pick? For refugees streaming out of Somalia, there’s no luxury of choice. They’re facing all three. Carrying babies in front and toddlers piggyback, clutching small plastic bags of belongings, thousands of Somalis are trudging barefoot for dozens or hundreds of miles. For months, as no rains fell in their homeland, they watched their cattle and goats die of thirst and hunger. Their stocks of corn or flour ran out, and they watched their children growing thinner and weaker. Finally, they gave up hoping that something would change and they left. They travel in groups of about 50 because danger is all around them: ambushes by men with guns are common in the area. So when they see something threatening in the distance, they run for what cover they can find—not easy in empty [...]

September 3, 2008

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    Fighting Kala-azar: Caritas Somalia Health Centre changes lives in Baidoa

Fighting Kala-azar: Caritas Somalia Health Centre changes lives in Baidoa

By |3 September 2008|

by David Omwoyo Seated outside the Caritas health centre in Baidoa, Mama Habibo Salad Habibo waits for help. After walking more than 18 km from her home with her two young children, she is glad that her sick child will finally get treatment. Hawo Salad, her two-year-old daughter looks emaciated and sleepy. Yet her stomach is swollen, leaving the impression of a child overfed. But the wounds on her belly, visible ribs, tiny legs and hands speak otherwise. “It was her father,” Habibo says pointing at the wounds, “he was treating her stomach problem by placing a hot iron on it. When she did not recover after four weeks, I decided to bring her to this centre.” Caritas Nurse Abdullahi Mumin explained that it is a tradition among Somalis to treat all stomach ailments by placing a hot iron or smouldering embers on the belly. He himself has scars on his stomach inflicted [...]

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