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Fatima's Story

“I used to be a livestock owner,” says Amina, “But since the drought, I lost all my animals.”

Amina lives with her five children in Somalia and had been managing to support her family as a pastoralist. However, when a drought hit the region and she lost her livestock, her life completely changed.

Without her livestock Amina was forced to move to find work, eventually setting up her own tea stall. Despite working incredibly hard, this wasn’t enough to provide for her family. On a normal day, the family would only be able to eat twice, once in the morning and once in the evening, with the food generally being simple -often just rice - and lacking the nutrients children need to stay healthy as they grow.

“Sometimes we set out to eat, sometimes we don’t”, says Amina.

Amina in her tea shop in the village where the family went to live after being displaced by drought

Amina in her tea shop after the family were displaced by drought.

A turning point

When Amina’s youngest daughter Fatima*, 9 months old, began to get poorly, suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea, everything changed. Fatima was so weak and ill that she couldn’t stand. 

Amina took Fatima to a Save the Children supported stabilisation centre, where she was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition and was immediately admitted for treatment.

Amina feeds milk to her daughter Fatima at the Stabilisation Centre, Gardo General Hospital

Amina feeds milk to her daughter Fatima at the Stabilisation Centre.

Fatima was given nutritional milk, therapeutic food and antibiotics. Amina was also given food, which meant she was able to stay with her daughter. After 10 days of treatment, Fatima had started to recover and had visibly put on weight.

When Fatima was sent home, her big sister Fatun* was thrilled.

Fatun and her baby sister Fatima

Fatun with her baby sister, Fatima, shortly after Fatima returned home from treatment

“When Fatima got sick, I cried. When I see my sister happy and healthy, I am happy for her. I carried her and gave her a kiss”, says Fatun

5 months later

“Since I took Fatima to hospital and after receiving medical support, she has been doing really well," says Amina

Five months after her vital treatment, Fatima is now walking and has continued to put on weight. She’s now thriving and is able to play with her big sister Fatun.

A healthier Fatima after returning from the stabalisation centre

A healthier Fatima after returning from the Save the Children supported stabalisation centre.

“I hope my children live a life of good health and have good education. What makes me happy is watching my children living a happy life, with good health, a life free from trouble,"  says Amina

Every child should grow up safe, happy and healthy. But we know that many families and children face challenges. 

Amina and her family were just one of many families affected by the drought and subsequent flooding in Somalia, and as our climate continues to change we're seeing more families and children affected by it's impact across the world. With your support we can help ensure children like Fatima have access to life saving treatment and nutritious food. 

Find out how you can help children like Fatima

Fatima's story features in our newest TV advert, learn more about our other feature story, Rhoda and Lela.

* Names changed to protect identities

Imagery: Kate Stanworth/ Save the Children

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