Seeing stark reality in Southern Somalia

I have just left Dhobley in Southern Somalia.  My travels with World Concern have taken me too many difficult places.  I have been to refugee camps in Chad, holding camps after Sri Lanka’s civil war, and South Sudan before independence.  Even with all of this experience with poverty and suffering, seeing the people in Dhobley was tragic.

A Somali mom with her sick child.
A Somali mom with her sick child at the clinic in Dhobley.

We visited a medical clinic that we partner with and saw three young children laying on mats with IVs, so weak they could not walk.  Their mothers were hoping that they would survive.  To be honest, I’m not sure whether they will make it or not given their acute diarrhea.  It’s devastating to know that beyond these three there are many who didn’t make it to the clinic.

The people in Dhobley broke my heart.  It was not just the extreme need.  People are hungry, sick and without resources.  There was such defeat in the eyes of the people on street.  They are not only lacking the basics of life – clean water, food and shelter – they have no sense of security.  The week before a battle took place in this town that sent people fleeing again into the bush to survive.  Are they safe today?  None believe they are.  Living day after day in insecurity has taken a toll beyond any I can imagine.  There is sorrow upon sorrow.

Yet in the midst of such darkness, there is hope.  When we engaged with people on the street and talked, the spark of hope was still there.  Hope comes in the form of others caring and reaching out.

A joyful family receives a food voucher.
Hope and joy on the faces of one family after receiving a World Concern voucher to buy food.

World Concern is bringing food and other essential items for survival, but they need so much more. There are people in need of love, joy, hope and peace.  God has called us to care for the least of these.  I found them in Somalia.  I pray we can bring healing beyond survival.

Today, as yesterday, the issue for the people of Southern Somalia is survival, and the World Concern staff is pouring themselves out to keep people alive.  My desire is to see us walk together through this immediate need into a time and place in the future where people can live in peace.

Learn more and support our work in Southern Somalia: www.worldconcern.org/crisis

Published by

Dave Eller

Dave Eller is the president of World Concern.

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