(ERGO) – Local authorities in Bari region in Puntland are running a scholarship programme for children from displaced families to equip them for alternative livelihoods instead of relying only on livestock like their parents.
With an annual fund of $24,000, the education programme is targeting children from livestock herders who were uprooted from their homes due to drought between 2016 and 2017.
Ahmed Salad Noor, the director of social affairs of Waiye district, told Radio Ergo that the local authorities support the education of 50 children drawn from families displaced by the 2016 drought.
According to the director, the administration in coordination with the learning institutions based in the town divides the children into age groups to ensure they meet their educational needs effectively.
Those between 13 and 16 were enrolled at Darul-Madina and Darul-Towfiq, which operate as adult schools, whereas those between seven and 12years now study at Al-Hamdulilah Primary and Secondary School.
The project has been covering the fees of these children since 2016.
Ardo Farah Ali, 40, fled her home in a remote area in 2016 after 150 of her goats perished in the drought.
She currently livesinWaiye town. Six of her eight children receive the local authority bursaries.
Speaking to Radio Ergo, Ardo said one of her problems has been resolved, as she only struggles to support the education of her remaining two children.
“Six of my children, three girls, and three boys are being sponsored by Waiye administration schooling scheme. Five of them were admitted at Al-Hamdulilah while the sixth one has joined an adult school,” said the mother of eight. “Our focus now is diverted from livestock and we want to adapt to life in the town.”
Ardo works as a vegetable vendor and her husband works at a quarry. They struggle to educate their other two children.
Shukri Abdi Hirad, who lost all her livestock to the drought, came to Waiye fromNobir village, a remote area in Bari region in 2016.
The authorities took the responsibility of educating three of her five children, two girls, and a boy.
“I lost all my livestock, which was my lifeline, to the drought. I had no other alternative but to move to the town. Now, three of my children who are being sponsored go to school. We are living in a house belonging to my grandmother,” Shukrisaid.
Her husband, who works at a quarry on the outskirts of the town, supports the family with the help of a little food provided by aid agencies.