Halima's Story - Engaging Somali refugee youth
Halima, a Somali youth living in Dadaab Refugee Camp, shares her experience of violence in Somalia and positive impact of attending an AFSC sponsored workshop.Photo: AFSC
I came from a war torn country where I have not known what peace is. I lost my father and my mother could not bear to see us suffering so we seek refuge in Kenya. We know the people who murdered our father and if I were given the opportunity I would revenge for my father but my feelings changed during my stay in the refugee camp where I was lucky to attend [the] AVP workshop. During this workshop I experience a great change in the way to handle different situations in my day to day [life] and I came to realize that revenging was not the best option to do justice because if I do revenge there will be no peace as the other people will also do the same.
AVP has inspired me to learn and communicate my feelings and bring about the desired change without creating negative response. This helps me in handling conflict. The training also imparts listening as a skill to enable one to listen to what the parties to any conflict are trying to communicate, this goes beyond just the words they are using. It requires close attention, empathy, patience and above all courage. From the workshop experience I came to know that violence is often the result of low esteem and a lack of communication skills in the perpetrator. A person may legitimately be angry but totally lack the understanding of how to bring about a positive change in the situation that caused the anger.
With this training I was able to improve the relations between my family and the murders of my father, who live in the same camp [as us]. Instead of turning away from the evil in the community, let us participate in correcting the wrongs and thereby bring about peace by sharing our newly found knowledge.