Khorasho and Hawa came to visit to say thank you for the 100 boxes of fortified rice and 50 tents given to their settlement outside of Djibouti town.
Khorasho is married but has no children. Hawa is married and has 4 children. When her oldest daughter died giving birth, along with the baby, her second daughter went crazy and has to be chained up to their hut so she does not wander off. This is a common practice among the mentally unstable in Africa. Left with no alternative, tying up children is also common when the mom cannot watch her toddlers every minute.
Khorasho’s husband is unemployed and her two remaining children, 7 and 8 years old, do not go to school. Khorasho has no concept of numbers or age, which is unusual among Somalis because even the illiterate can count and often measure their age by seasons and droughts. She said she was around 30 and her mother 120!
Hawa grew up as an orphan in neighboring Somaliland and is also uneducated. Being illiterate is not uncommon, but these women represent a growing number of IDPs (Internally Displaced Peoples) and refugees who have lost all identity with their culture and oral education in general, which the Somalis are rich in. One can meet a poor Somali who still has some cultural dignity and knowledge and dreams. These poor women seem to have lost all hope.