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Jawahir Suffers in Somalia

Jawahir Suffers in Somalia
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6

     challenging words:    unclean, warfare, malnourished, cholera, diarrhea, camps, clan, camp, affects, emergency, especially, ongoing, easily, suffer, unhealthy, schools
     content words:    United States, Family Relief Kits

Jawahir Suffers in Somalia
By Jennifer Kenny

1     Jawahir lives in a camp. It's not the kind of camp that you may be thinking of. It is not a day camp or summer camp. Instead it is a camp that is a shelter for Jawahir and his mother and siblings. It is meant to give his family some food, water, and a place to sleep.
2     Jawahir lives in Somalia. Somalia is a country on the continent of Africa. As of 2013, there are about 10 million people who live in Somalia. That number is probably not exact. It is hard to get an exact number of people in Somalia because many of the people are nomads or refugees. Nomads are people who wander from place to place instead of having a permanent home. Refugees are people who are forced to leave their home. They move around a great deal and look for help because of the terrible famine and clan warfare in Somalia.
3     Much of the fighting involves which group will lead the country, where the borders lie, and who controls the borders. The government now controls the capital of Mogadishu. Fighting is very difficult in the rest of the country. Very often, the women and children leave to escape the violence while the men remain fighting. This often leaves families such as Jawahir's family looking for food, water, shelter, and health care. In some places in Somalia, camps receive help from organizations such as UNICEF. UNICEF aid workers try to truck in water and food to the camps. Water is life to all people, but especially those at the camps. If water is not brought in, some places would have no water at all. In other places, people can get very sick because they have no clean water. In crowded conditions, such as these camps, diseases can spread quickly. If people have no clean water, they will suffer from diarrhea again and again. Cholera, a rising concern in Somalia, is an example of one disease spread through unclean water.
4     The same is true with the bathroom situation. Some camps have no latrines. Once again diseases can easily spread. UNICEF aid workers try to teach the people at the camps how to build latrines. They also try to get soap to the people at the camp to help people keep themselves clean. UNICEF may even provide family relief kits, which include blankets, cans for holding water, soap, mosquito nets, and cooking sets.
5     The ongoing war makes it very hard to get help to people such as Jawahir. Security is a real problem. Many times aid workers who really want to help are at risk of getting hurt. Sometimes the fighting makes it impossible to bring food and water to the people.

Paragraphs 6 to 11:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

Extended Activities:

1.  Research the fighting in Somalia. Write one paragraph describing the situation.

2.  Look up Somalia in an encyclopedia or on a map. Draw an outline of the country.

3.  Parts of Somalia suffer from severe flooding. Find out why.

4.  Find out what UNICEF is. How does it help children?

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