Profile Feature


A Somali single mother is fighting to raise her Six children alone (Saafi Nur Ciire, lives in Orebro)

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A Somali single mother in her cosmetic shop in Orebro. Picture by: Omar Ahmed

The life is always full of challenges, hopes and struggle; but human being shapes and steers the everyday ramifications of life through adaptation, observation or through innovation of skills to tackle those challenges. Most of the single mothers share common characteristics. They spend most of their time with their children as well as they are permanent  caregivers. They are a tireless guardian  Who arrayed well to show their support until last minute.

Ambitious, consistent alert, and less smile with unmistakable attitudes towards her desired destination, Saafi Ciire fights to cope up all responsibilities with commitment. Her wonderful experience as a single-parent made perfect symbol for her children. Having both of your parents is an amusing gift from the God and they also play a key role towards the psychological, material and physical support of the kids; but sometimes things don’t happen smoothly in the family as it used to be; so many children raised under the supervision of a single parent. As the result of that, children may lose either one of their parent or, both because of man made or natural disaster; Or disappearance or, most often as a result of family destruction. In Sweden according to the statically data produced by the Swedish Central Byrå indicates that Sweden is among highest countries when it comes divorce and family separations.

A Somali strong single mother who raises Six children alone; she takes an enormous responsibility on her shoulder. Saafi Nur works hard in order to sustain the need and the interest of her children. Her determination, courage, and energy made to one of the strongest mothers who committed to raising their children alone. Some of her children now are studying to Secondary school Gymnasieskola and they work to support their mother.

The 48-years-old mother makes her life more independent; she runs a shop in the center of Orebro; where she sells African traditional dresses and cosmetics; her shop locates in between the Swedish employment office(Arbetsformedligen) and the police headquarter in Orebro. Saafi sells women’s wear including traditional Islamic women’s wear (Hijab,Khimar,Shayla, and the like). ”I have been working this shop for two years, and my goal is  to  become a self-sufficient person and met the needs of my children without  searching social support or benefits or something like that,”Saafi said.

Her shop is often open from morning till to 18.00 most of her customers are African and Asian groups as well as Swedes   in Orebro-Kumla and the like

Saafi also works as a social worker, and helps sick and old people who live alone. In this way, she earns some extra income to support her children. ”I earn 16-thousand Swedish Crones per month after taxation, but this is not enough to our need so, I decided  to work at nights in order to get extra money,” said Saafi showing her concerns on the sustainability of her income.

She looks a tired and embattled but committed to achieving her goals.  She is alert and her eyes reflect her tough days and the massive responsibility waiting for her respond; but she is well-decorated with cosmetics and jewelry, gold and Henna; Somali traditional Tatoo on her hands(Cilaan).  Around the train station, not far from the heart of Orebro city, Saafi runs her own shop. She works 6 days per week .

Saafi likes to learn a lot and speaks many languages fairly beyond her mother tongue, such as Swedish, Arabic, and English but her firm routines and duties may not allow her   to move forward a lot to pursue further education; she is really busy to sort out the daily life of her children who needs a lot of her support every day.” I didn’t get a chance to learn a lot because most of the time I was either pregnant or giving a care to my children” Saafi studied basic primary education and speaks many languages including such as, Somali, Swedish, English, and Arabic.

Somali Single mother created Business intiative in Orebro
Somali Single mother created Business initiative in Orebro

Like other parents she takes her children to school every morning and then takes them back to home in the evenings. She works on household chores, like cleaning, dishes, and cooking all time; moreover, that, she is the bread winner of all her 6 children. Saafi looks very strong and decisive, energetic women with an amusing and excessive determination. She meets with school principals, doctors, attends parent meetings communicates with government institutions concerning to her job she takes reports from school teachers   on the performance of her children.  She is in charge of all activity of her children. She controls and checks if they are doing well in school or not.

Her tirelessness, struggle, and courage made a successful single mother in a very challenging responsibility. Some of her neighbors and workmates whom I met expressed their surprise on her talent, energy, and the sustainable commitment both for her job and the children. “This   woman is like a machine! Nothing can stop her” said Abdi Farah. Saafi took her driving license for twelve years ago, she drives her Nissan luxurious car back and forward all day to reach all her plans on time and makes distances short. “The car is a vital part of my life because without the car it gone be difficult to control everything in my life,” she said.

Saafi designs and sews traditional Somali clothes such as hats, bedding sheets, women African dresses; men wear, handicrafts in a fashionable way. She also imports cosmetics and jewelry, clothes and handicrafts from the Middle East and Africa.

In recent years, Somalis had started to establish their own business, such as restaurants, coffee shops, salesclerks, cosmetic& cloth shops and the like in different parties of Sweden including big metropolitan areas like Stockholm. While some of them are skilled and work as, Engineers, Medical doctors, Nurses, Teachers, Technicians, politicians, Journalists Bus, and Taxi drivers etc.

There are also tremendous expectations to have more trained and professional graduates from different field of studies in upcoming future.

BY: Omar Ahmed


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