Godana: Paving the way on the journey of displacement
“After what my son experienced, it is a privilege that he is able to access education. Given his individualist nature of dealing with his problems on his own, I was worried about his fate with no education,” says Nedi, Godana’s mother.
Godana Wariyo, 13 years old, had suffered the trauma of displacement when the Ethio-Somali border conflict occurred. Being alone and witnessing excessive exposure to the conflict scenes in the forest had a negative impact on his behaviour.
Godana said, “I heard gunshots many times while looking after the cattle. I felt like dying – running, crying or screaming couldn’t console me. Every day was a day of mourning in my community and I constantly worried that my family and I would die someday too. I preferred to be alone most of the time to process what was going on. I even distanced myself from my siblings. My mom tried hard to support me during my loneliness but there wasn’t a shift until imagine1day’s intervention.”
Godana’s mother used radio education as a means to emotionally reconnect her child to the rest of the family and their community. She pushed him to interact with his fellow students, which helped him get along more easily with people.
“Imagine1day didn’t just create an educational opportunity for my child, it has given me back my peace of mind. I had tried to support Godana as best I could, and I was about to give up when imagine1day stepped in to help us. I helped him study Afan Oromo and his siblings and his friends helped him with the rest of the subjects. The more time he spent with us, the more he was able to relax. He is happier than ever. I have nothing to worry about anymore. I would like to say thank you to imagine1day and UNICEF for saving my child,” says grateful Nedi. Godana wants to be a teacher so that he can help hard-to-reach communities like his own.
“I like education; I missed it and I am back to it after five years. I got a lot from my education and I want to provide the same to people who are in need. I am teaching grade one students in my free time and I enjoy it a lot. I thank imagine1day and UNICEF for the opportunity,” says Godana, beaming.