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Somalian grandmother and four of her grandchildren outside their shelter

International Day of Older People 2022

Together, we can save lives.

International Day of Older People (1 October) raises awareness for, and challenges negative stereotypes about, older people and ageing. With the growing number of older people, this day reminds us to reflect on the contributions of the ageing population.  

Did you know? Over the next three decades, the number of older people worldwide is projected to more than double, reaching more than 1.5 billion in 2050 (United Nations)

Imagine losing everything 

Habiba is 80-years-old. At a time when many 80-year-olds are thinking of taking it easy, that’s the last thing Habiba can do. She has to look after five grandchildren, aged between two and six, because their mother died. 

She is a widow, originally from Somalia but she and her family had to leave 20 years ago, when they lost all their livestock in recurring droughts. 

Now Habiba is among over 1,000 families who have been forcefully displaced, having to uproot again – this time without even being allowed to pack household items such as cooking pans. 

Habiba and her grandchildren arrived at an internally displaced people settlement in Somalia, which hosts over 700 households. But it's not just the displaced families who are settled in the camp. The local communities, who lost their livestock to the recent drought, are also coming to the camp to see if they can get food for their hungry families, from organisations like World Vision. 

Somalian grandmother and five grandchildren outside their shelter
Habiba and four of her grandchildren

World Vision and other agencies are helping

Habiba, along with 264 other families, now has the means to provide for her grandchildren. Through World Vision’s cash transfer programme, she received emergency life-saving relief.

The project ensures families’ basic food requirements are met for three months, as well as providing training in child protection and dignity kits for women and girls. 

But more help is needed 

“I use all the entitlement I received on food for my large family that I support, and the little remaining cash I use to purchase water, which is very scarce,” Habiba says.  

The camp has only one borehole that supplies clean water, but due to the drought it’s almost drying up: yet another looming challenge for Habiba. 

Habiba sometimes uses a portion of the money to pay women who can walk the long distance to water sources, to collect water for her. 

Makeshift shelters housing displaced people in Somalia
Families are doing their best in impossible circumstances

One day at a time

She, and many others facing the effects of this drought, are coping the best they can: one day at a time. 

“I thank World Vision for coming to our rescue, without them we would have been long gone, particularly old people like me who do not have anyone to support us. I urge you not to stop this support which is my only hope for now.  

In February of 2022, World Vision Somalia intensified its response to the ongoing drought crisis in parts of Somalia and Somaliland, aiming to reach nearly 356,000 people facing food insecurity, nutrition, health, water and hygiene challenges.  

Right now, 50 million people across the world are facing hunger. You can help. 

Just last year, we delivered vital food support to 7.9 million people. 

Together, we can reach more families like Habiba’s. 

Learn more