Ethiopian refugee opts to work to become self-reliant
Dita Mama Madera is an Ethiopian refugee from Bale. He came to Hargeisa, Somaliland in 2004. Madera has a wife and two children; a girl aged five and a son aged 21. He has been keen on starting a business in the local community and being self-reliant, but was cautious that this would deny him the opportunity to access privileges from UNHCR.
But that changed at the end of last year when Madera participated in a three-day business skills training, with a six-week follow-up on developing business plans offered by AAH Somalia through the support of UNHCR. Through the training, he acquired skills in business start-up and ways of raising capital.
Although Madera is yet to start his business, he has secured a job to take care of his family and accumulate saving to start his business. He gets between USD 5 to 8 daily. “Three dollars (US) goes to feeding the family and I save two dollars (US),” he says.
Madera is proud of his effort and the future can only get brighter. “I am not receiving any subsistence from UNHCR and has been doing manual jobs in town to feed my family,” he says. He says his family will not be dependent on handouts. “I have lost a lot of time waiting for food. I have to make a decision on the direction my life will take.”
Madera is confident that he is ready to own a business thanks to his newly acquired skills. “I have learnt a lot on savings and keeping good records,” say Madera, 50.