Ethiopia – The first woman to own camels

Samuel Larsson, LWF Ethiopia

Meram Hassan Nur and her two camels

JIJIGA, ETHIOPIA. Meram Hassan Nur, a Somali woman in Dundumas village in eastern Ethiopia proudly speakabout success in her life. She is the first woman in her community able to buy her own camels, a property by tradition only owned by men. It all started in 2007, when Meram signed up for a Saving and Credit cooperative initiated by LWF’s Jijiga District Integrated Community Development Program (JDICDP). Saving and Credit schemes are used to empower economically disadvantaged groups, often women, and give them a chance to get an income. Meram was in the small group of women granted a loan of 2000 Birr (approx USD 125) each. Trained by the project, she invested the money well and her business grew slowly. Now, two years later, Meram Hassan Nur cares for two camels, 20 goats and manages a small commodity shop in her village. She radiates with confidence as she talks about no longer being dependant of her husband for money, and being one of few women in the village to own a mobile phone. Meram has also completed the repayment of her loans, making it possible for the cooperative to disburse credits to yet more women in her village. JDICDP runs a total of ten cooperatives, comprising around 50 women. The project is supported by IcelandicChurchAid, ICA.

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