Outside Samsam’s home, wind runs softly through colourful and widely travelled clothes, silently telling the story of a long journey from Somalia to Malta. This journey began 2006 in Mogadishu, in the hard-fought capital of Somalia.
Somalia, homeland to 9.5 million people, all originating from the same tribe, but split into different clans, has mostly been torn by conflict through its 51 years of independence. Yet, the full implosion of the country began when President Mohammed Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991. Since then Somalia has been ruled by rivalling clans in an atmosphere of violence and impunity.
“There is no home,” says Samsam, “they are all destroyed.” Samsam and her husband fled Somalia six years ago. Today they live in a rented flat in Safi with their three children. Her husband works in a factory and it is a challenge for the family to gain a steady enough income to cover rent and the daily needs of the family. But Samsam recalls a very different life in Mogadishu, where she could not even walk around safely: “They will take you if you stay outside – even the women and children”.
The situation in Somalia remains very volatile, with fighting and violence forcing people on the move. Samsam is concerned about those who are still left behind: “I don’t know where my family is now.”
Samsam prepares breakfast for her family at her home in Safi, her smile tells of relief as she glances at her three children. “Now we can go outside safely. My children can get an education…maybe even a good future”. Samsam knows that there are still challenges ahead for the family but her focus is on one important thing: “Our family have found peace and safety.”
The UNHCR office in Malta worked with a local production company to develop five Public Service Announcements (PSA) TV spots to raise awareness about how protection status is changing the lives of individuals who found safety in Malta. Read more.
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