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East Africa Famine: overcoming trauma in Mogadishu

Child friendly spaces in the Badbado refugee camp
Child friendly spaces in the Badbado refugee camp

Since our Emergency Relief Programme got underway across the Horn of Africa in July, SOS Children has helped save lives and improve living conditions for over 70,000 of the worst-affected victims of famine. Now, we are also providing ‘child friendly spaces’ in Badbado refugee camp in Mogadishu to help children to come to terms with the difficult times.

Scroll down to watch a video of our work in the Badbado refugee camp.

Somalia has been one of the countries hardest hit by the famine in East Africa. It is estimated 750,000 people in southern Somalia alone are experiencing the effects of the drought and subsequent famine. The Badbado Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Southern Mogadishu accommodates over 30,000 people displaced by the crisis, many of these young children.

SOS Children have set up a SOS Emergency Medical Centre in the camp to provide lifesaving treatments to those in need. Despite difficult security conditions, 23 doctors, supported by nurses, midwives and pharmacists, work hard every single day to help families to survive. Over the past month alone, over 7,000 internally displaced Somalis have received medical treatment at the SOS Emergency Medical Centre here, 39% of which were under 5 years old. Families receive vital vaccines and treatment for conditions which spread quickly in refugee camps, such as diarrhoea, measles and malaria.

In Badbado, the psychological welfare of children is being addressed by the creation of ‘child friendly spaces’. Here, the trauma of the famine is put aside as children are able to have fun and play, providing them with reason to be optimistic. So far, 150 children under 12 have had the opportunity to overcome psychological difficulties in these spaces.

Watch a video about our work in the Badbado refugee camp:


See: Where your money goes in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya

SOS Children have been working in Somalia for 26 years, and are well-placed to provide emergency care for those in need. We are currently working to open emergency clinics in further refugee camps in the area.

How you can help

You can make a one-off donation directly to our Emergency Relief Programme in Somalia, or take out a child sponsorship to help us to focus on the long-term welfare of children who have no one to care for them as a result of the famine.