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26 March 2023 - Story

Meet Hindiya* who is helping survivors of gender based violence in Somalia

For Hindiya*, a qualified midwife working in central Somalia, helping women, children and girls is a dream that comes true.  Hindaya’s father was a nurse and she used to admire how dedicated he was to help his patients, and sometimes she used to see neighbours visiting her father for guidance. Today, Hindiya reports to work at 8 am, goes through her daily routine and receives patients who seek medical support.

The majority of the patients in the facility where Hindiya* works are children, women, and girls and many of the women and girls who seek medical support are survivors of gender-based violence. However, Hindiya* did not have the skills to help the survivors, and most of the survivors struggled to disclose their problems for fear of discrimination and stigmatization.

Two months ago, Hindiya* participated in training on the clinical management of rape to provide treatment and care for Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) survivors reported at the health facility. The training helped her improve the support  she provides to survivors of SGBV, and she uses the skills and knowledge gained from the training to support the survivors ethically and confidentially. In addition, Hindiya* ensures survivors understand the process and services available for support and the importance of  survivors providing informed consent.  

Hindiya* also mentors other health professionals in the facility who supports cases related to SGBV to increase the capacity of the health workers when attending SGBV cases.



 "I'm Hindiya*, and I'm 26 years old. When I was a young girl, I loved taking care of people. My father was a nurse, and I always admired how he assisted, treated and cared for people with physical or mental health problems and how their faces lit up whenever he showed empathy and spoke softly to them while attending to and providing medications.

When my father passed away, I decided to keep his hope alive and become a nurse to see my patients smile.


My daily routine:

"I usually wake up at 5 am. When I wake up, I pray and prepare for work. Then, I start my shift at 8 am. As soon as I get to work, I have to receive reports from the person working the night shift, which I go through and check the records of the patients I will be supporting during my shift.

"As part of the frontline health workers team at this health facility, we ensure patients of all ages can access service.

 "My primary role in the facility is to record patients' medical history and gynecological examinations, care for pregnant mothers during labour, birth and new-born and help them stay healthy and safe to prevent pregnancy-related illnesses. In addition, I regularly provide counselling and appropriately refer cases with special needs.

Support survivors of SGBV

"I provide GBV survivors suffering physical trauma, sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy proper case management and psychosocial support. I listen to their stories and allow them to discuss their concerns without interruption. I counsel and refer them to additional care when I encourage them to talk it over. I again assess the survivor's satisfaction with the support they received and ensure that their emotional state has improved survivor's emotional state. In severe cases, that need additional care are referred to specialists. 

 "I feel comfortable supporting SGBV survivors now because of my knowledge and the fact that people generally trust my specialization. They have come to accept that I am not here to brainwash the community but to save lives. That they have enough confidence in me to confide in me is a boon.

 "When I offer the services to the affected women, girls and the community, I feel appreciated. When I give to society, it brings me a sense of belonging and fulfilment.

 "Of course, I get emotionally drained when I listen to the distress of the survivors. I feel their pain, and more so when the extent of emotion is so significant that the survivors express their feelings and that they wish to die because of the shame and  their fear that they would get from the public. But in the end, the positive outweighs the negative, as I have seen many survivors recover from physical and psychological violence.

"I also work across multiple departments with different specialists. As a result, I witnessed many emergencies we solved together as health workers.  

 "I met both women and girls suffering from GBV consequences where I cared and worked closely with their families using my skills as a midwife. However, I didn't work as a GBV specialist yet, but the training I have attended prepared me well to manage cases and provide Psychosocial support. Since I started to provide services to GBV Survivors, I have developed extensive skills and knowledge to make the survivors meet their needs.

Receiving SGBV cases management training

"I recently attended training related to SGBV conducted by Save the Children. We are trained on the concept of gender-related violence. I learnt the various forms of GBV, the core principles of Human rights, reporting mechanisms and improving case response.

I have also learnt the importance of awareness-raising sessions to educate people to understand the root causes and risk factors of GBV in their contexts and help them to know where they can access support if they experience violence. This was not my first training on SGBV. I participated in another held in October 2022, where I learned more about GBV concepts.

After completing the most recent training, I became more confident in dealing with the community, especially while advising members against SGBV. With the knowledge and skills I acquired in training, I have managed SGBV cases and counselled both men and women, especially women, to help them realize when their rights violated.

"I have since been able to interact with our partners for the referral system to determine the level of support we can provide to persons that fear for their lives. My understanding of the culture and the practices has helped me educate women and girls and help them pick out the signs of abuse before it happens.  


Future hopes

"As I work in this facility, I hope to continue with the work that I do at the organizational level. I want all the health workers in the facility to understand how to manage SGBV cases.

 "In five years, I hope to acquire more skills and knowledge to get into the decision-making positions for developing plans and policies that support the empowerment of the vulnerable members of society.

"My advice to health workers who interact with survivors of SGBV is to go deeper than the physical wounds that they nurse or treat. The health workers are the first point of contact for GBV survivors, and they should always maintain respect, confidentiality, safety, and the right to non-discrimination.

 "To the donor, I can only say thank you. Words cannot fully express my gratitude for the opportunity to learn what I now know. The training provided great insights and lessons I have implemented and seen people's lives transform. I pray that similar programs be extended to other parts to have more workers supporting survivors of SGBV.

Feeling proud

"I am proud of my work as I know I play an essential role in improving the community's wellbeing. So I am pleased, especially when I know I am making a difference for girls and women in my community.  


Save the Children support.


Save the Children, with funding from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), trained health workers in central Somalia on clinical management rape and safe referral of SGBV incidents at the community level.

Save the children provided medical supplies, including medical kits to the health facilities. We also have trained health workers with skills, knowledge and medical supplies to manage SGBV incidents and handle survivors ethically and confidentially.

 Hindiya* participated in this training to improve her skills to provide adequate and ethical counselling and medical support to SGBV survivors at the health facility. Hindiya* also gained knowledge and understanding of gender, GBV forms of, and the core principles of Human rights, reporting mechanisms and referrals to improve SGBV response services.

Hindiya* is now capable of supporting SGBV cases, conducting awareness-raising sessions to reduce the impact of gender and power inequalities among the community and supporting the health-seeking behaviours of women and adolescent girls to prevent the short and long-term health consequences of SGBV.