Refugee business woman shows the beauty of hard work in DadaabPhoto | Business woman Rahmo Adan in Ifo Camp/Photo/Farhan/Ergo
Entrepreneurial refugee women in Dadaab are leading the way in opening new businesses – despite arriving destitute in the camps and having to start from scratch.
Rahmo Aaden Mohamed, a mother of three, runs several thriving beauty parlours and shops, and is a role model in her comunity.
Rahmo arrived in Dadaab’s Ifo camp in 2007 from Somali’s Juba region, with no money. Motivated to support her family and supplement the meagre rations she received from aid agencies, she turned her shelter into a salon.
“I left Kismayo with nothing but some modest skills as a beautician, I turned my home into beauty salon, beautifying my fellow refugee women for a modest fee,” she said.
“There was nowhere safe for me to keep money back then, and there were bandits preying on us, so I used to put the little money I made in a tin and hide it in a hole I dug inside the grass hut I lived in. I had to fight any temptation to spend that money.”
After a month she managed to save US $27O. “Day by day, my life was getting better, things were improving. My husband was jobless then, so I persuaded him to come on board, to help me, to be part of my business,” said Rahmo.
Radio Ergo interviewed Rahmo inside one of her busy shops. Having become a successful business woman, she tries to give something back to society by advising other women on how to start up their own ventures and providing beautician training to girls.
Rahmo’s small business empire in Ifo consists of two beauty salons, a jewellery shop, and dress shops, employing eight other refugees.