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Surviving Against All Odds: Almaz's Triumph Over Adversity

Almaz's story is one of resilience, determination, and hope. She left her home country of Ethiopia 20 years ago due to war; fearing for her life and that of her family. She was separated from her husband and has never heard from him ever since. With nowhere else to turn to, Almaz called her sister in Nairobi, who helped her find her way to Kenya.

Posted on 27 Jun 2023

Life was still tough for Almaz, and she found herself struggling to make ends meet. With no marketing skills, Almaz turned to what she knew best-making Anjera. Anjera is a traditional Ethiopian flatbread that is made from tef flour, which is a type of grain that is native to Ethiopia.

She started earning a living from this business and has been able to sustain her young family in Kenya. Luckily, Almaz joined a women's group called Jalala (Love), which is part of the Community Savings and Loans Association (CSLA), a community-based informal financing model that helps members save money and access small loans.

Through Jalala CSLA, Almaz was introduced to the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) which gave her KES15,000 that propelled her to start her Anjera business. With the help of the CSLA group, Almaz was able to buy an Anjera baking machine.

Despite all of this success, Almaz carries the weight of raising her children alone in a foreign country. She remembers her life back home and how she used to live, and tears stream down her cheeks. 

She is grateful for the support she has received from DRC over the years, especially counseling. This has helped her cope with the challenges of being a refugee.

Almaz thanks the DRC staff under the Supporting Displacement Affected Communities in Kenya with Entrepreneurship Development (SDACKED) project; a financial inclusion project funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) for the business skills and support she has received. She urges other refugees to support each other in making lives bearable.

Almaz's journey from a refugee to entrepreneurial success in Kenya is a testament to the strength of the human spirit. Despite all the hardship she has faced, she has never given up hope for a better future.

Her determination to provide for her family and build a better life for herself and them is an inspiration to us all

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