By Abdirahman A. Haibah
Some people have horrific stories that make others cry when they share with them. Somalis have more dreadful lives than the rest of the world. It is not because their central government collapsed 23 years ago, nor because the northern peaceful region does not have an international recognition yet. It is because they forget most of their responsibilities whether they are the political leaders, Sheikhs (Religious leaders), Merchants, businessmen and common people. In Islam, Allah declared to us that if we are merciful and kind to each other on the Earth then He (Allah) will send mercy on us. Do we show mercy to the minors, orphans, and the mentally ill ones?
The answer will be “NO” because less than 5% of our population helps these people, the people who need our help the most. As a Muslim society, everyone who is capable is ought to be helping these people, but my brothers and sisters in Hargeisa do not. Some of them cannot be blamed because they are never acquainted with these people.
I did not have any idea about the way my brothers and sisters who have lost their parents live before. Not too long ago, I heard a rumor that says that ‘About ten (10) babies between the ages of a month and six months pass away each month in Hargeisa Orphanage Center Campus.’ It was shocking to me because I went to that place many times to tutor the orphan kids, but I have never heard such news before.
It took me weeks to investigate the problem and its cause by asking friends of mine and schoolmates who used to live there a year ago. The result was that all the innocent babies are dying daily because of starvation and lack of health care. A student from Hargeisa Orphanage Center, who preferred to be anonymous, said “The little babies in the campus die from starvation because they cannot talk for themselves. Everyone would die, but the older kids go up to the people who run the place and ask for what they need. That is how my friends and I survive on the campus. Three months old or six months old babies cannot communicate and ask for their needs. All they can do is to cry, and their guardians tell them to shut up and leave them behind.”
Do these babies have any type of health care? I asked.
The student looked at me in the eye and said, “They do not get food from the people in charge, what do you think about medicine? “ he kept going “If a little baby gets sick today, they don’t take him/her to the hospital that day but maybe after few days. When the baby is in serious situation they take him/her to an inexperienced doctor. He gives the babies some medicine, but he tells them to take the baby to the hospital, if he acknowledges that he cannot do anything about it. Then they either take the baby to the hospital or they put him/her back to his or her room to wait his or her death.”
I was so concerned and asked “why they don’t take the babies to the doctor or hospital right away.” He said, “Because they don’t care.”
I asked him, “Why do you think that the doctor is inexperienced?”
He replied “One day, I had a headache, and one other kid had stomachache. We went to the doctor and asked for medicine. He gave us the same tablet (Paracetamol or Mac mol).That was not the first day I saw him give the same tablet to kids who have different complaints. I did not know the usage of those other tablets but I am sure that Mac mol is for the headache, not for the stomachache. Then I found out that he does not even know the difference between the tablets and their usages.”
“Can you tell me the average number of babies that die in the campus per month?” I asked
“Ten to fifteen (10-15) kids but there can be more that I did not know about.” He replied
Aren’t these children humans that deserve to be helped?
In fact they’re and they deserve the most sincere help. There are more than thousands of families who are capable of taking care of one orphan child. There are many people who have the money and would give these needy children if they get someone who will manage it for them. But it seems no one knows or cares about them.
What if each family of these thousands takes a child to adopt and makes sure that child has the proper health care and food? What if the society and its religious and political leaders arrange proper facilities, and people who are committed to taking care of those vulnerable children? There are many other ways possible to taking care of these orphans. The question is, are we willing to?
Those tragic and unpleasant deaths of the orphans are a symbol of our weakened IMAN as Muslims. If we are not willing to help the ones who need our support, why are we expecting Allah to give us rain, stability, development, or even Heaven (Janah). If we want to get mercy from Allah, we should help each other on Earth; help the little children who are dying in our neighborhoods. This is not the government’s or the Sheikhs’ responsibility, but it is everyone’s responsibility whether you realize it or not.
If anyone of the readers has a heart, I will recommend you to go there for yourself and take a look at those babies who are dying from hunger, diseases, and lack of proper shelter.
I wrote this article because I could not do anything by talking to several people. I preferred to publish it here so that every Muslim who is caring can be able to find it online.