Fadumo Abdi Nuux lives in Malowle, a camp for internally displaced people.
She and her family were among the thousands who fled the region in the early 1990s, and then returned in recent years. First, they lived in the capital city of Hargeisa – then, they moved to Malowle, part of the Somaliland government's plan to relocate residents of Hargeisa's informal settlements.
In the three years since the first Malowle residents built shelters, there has been steady progress. Malowle now boasts a health clinic, a school, a mosque, a local police station, and many small shops. Furthermore, the government has granted the people land rights. As a result, they own the land and cannot be evicted.
In 2020, Fadumo Abdi Nuux was appointed as the camp's community-based organization leader, chairing a committee of ten women. She also represents the community and meets with local governments to advocate for residents' rights.
'Following the end of the civil war in 1991, I sought refuge in Ethiopia's Somali region. I yearned to return to Somaliland and joined the movement of Somalis returning to Somaliland. My husband and I relocated our family of nine here. My husband became ill in Malowle and was diagnosed with diabetes. When I began discussing this illness with others in my community, I realised how widespread it was. Diabetes affects approximately one or two people in each household - roughly 700 homes in Malowle', Fadumo shares.
'In the three years I've lived here, I've seen a lot of diabetes-related pain. Some of our neighbours were in diabetic comas, while others died tragically. Because of incidents like these, people became afraid of diabetes, and there were many denials, even after doctors had given the diagnosis.
Furthermore, some people with diabetes are overwhelmed by the disease's complexities, and many people cannot read. So even when they have access to equipment, they might not understand the glucose meter. As a result, I began teaching residents essential reading and math skills every Friday. This was one of the reasons the community trusted me to be their voice.'
She adds that, since the implementation of the WDF-funded project, diabetes awareness has increased in the community.
'In addition, livelihood grants are distributed to female-led households with diabetic members to develop or strengthen small businesses, providing women with greater economic security and self-determination. Those who live in the camps understand that we are human beings with rights and intelligence and have the same potential as everyone else. The WDF and SOS projects give us renewed hope for a better future.'
Fadumo Abdi Nuux is one of the community leaders helping WDF's 2022 fundraiser project, Increasing awareness and providing diabetes care in vulnerable communities in Hargeisa, Somaliland, achieve its goals.