Hello friends and friends of friends! We're writing to you on behalf of our friend, who, like us!, believes in the power of community, compassion and solidarity. In our work at Sharehaus Refugio and Give Something Back to Berlin, every day we invest our time and skills into building safe relationships that allow people to find calm, home, rest after their traumatic, long journeys to Europe. Sometimes financial support is what is needed the most and collecting money becomes this one crucial step that has to be taken so the emotional, physical, social, and any other form of healing and rebuilding yourself and the life can fall into place. And this is exactly the moment when money is needed to bring children from Somalia to Germany to reunite the family, protect children from the harm, sooth the heart of a mother. Let's us tell you the story hoping for your support! Our friend asked us not to use her real name in the Internet campaign. So let's call her Faduma. Faduma comes from a very small village in the province of Hiiraan, Somalia. She was born there, grew up there and she had to flee from there a few years ago because of the systemic and domestic violence that threatened her life. She also dreamt of a better future for her five children, especially two daughters whom she wanted to protect from the genital mutilation, forced marriage, and other forms of discrimination affecting the girls and women in Somalia. She promised them that she would arrive safely in Europe and then bring them all there. She couldn't expect that the traumatic journey through Kenya, Uganda, Libya, Italy, Germany will take 5 years and shake every cell of her body, soul and family relationships. The youngest daughter was not even two when they had to separate. Today, she is a girl ready to go to school and the oldest son is a teenager taking over too many responsibilities. But also today, the mother is finally able to bring the kids to Germany. Over the last two years, thanks to her kindness, joy and openness, she has built a loving community of friends and supporters. We are aware of the great challenges but we are ready to welcome the family, not only with balloons at the airport, but also with a sustainable, long term psychosocial and bureaucratic support. We know that we can't save all the children trapped in Somalia between poverty, war and oppression, but we know that we can make a huge difference for these five children, whom thanks to Internet we even got to know already. We know that there are thousands of stories like this. The only difference is that we know Faduma and we know her life journey. We meet her almost every day and almost every day we see her despair and desperation, and almost every day she welcomes us with a genuine smile regardless her suffering. Again, we know it will take us a while, but the only other solution is that we just let it go, accept the injustice, inequality, and systemic oppression as the world's irresistible qualities, turn blind into suffering happening next to us. And that would be the worst solution of all. We feel sense of urgency due to the European politics leading to tightening and criminalising migration, due to increased power of the Somali Islamist terrorissts from Al-shabaab, frequent floods and draughts hitting the region, sickness and poverty in the children's village, and the most natural fact of kids simply growing up and changing every day being far away from the mother, only under custody of a physically sick grandmother. Although Faduma helps them as much as she can by sending them what she can (mostly money), her children and mother suffer from hunger, disease, violence. The biggest pain comes from the separation. The constant fear and guilt takes toll on Faduma's mental and physical health. The road to Germany is still long, but at this point clear and realistic. To bring children to Berlin, through legal procedures in German embassy in Nairobi, Kenya Faduma needs enormous for her and us amount of 7000 euros. But hey, we can do it together! And Faduma promised to flood the social media with the photos of pure happiness from the airport once the kids arrive. At the end, we all look into the future and love having reasons to blow the balloons. And this will be a huge, beautiful reason.
Hania, Tosia and big team of friends
Additional note about withdrawal of the money:
The money will be withdrawn by Hania. Hania is a psychotherapist working with NGO Give Something Back to Berlin. Faduma takes part in activities that are part of the refugee women empowerment and psychosocial support program including dance and yoga group, art group, individual counseling, etc. Together with Faduma they will buy the plane tickets, pay the legal and administrative costs, transfer money directly to the family, first in Somalia, then in Kenya. At the end Faduma will fly to Nairobi to sign the papers and bring the children, she will take some cash with her too.