Somalia refugees 1274.JPG
Koos Aw Dahir - 40.Has been living in State House since 1992 .11 children - oldest, 22, youngest, 3.Koos looks after four of Siida's ( a new arrival from Mogadishu) children..."I have 11 children and my own problems, but I was touched by the problems of Siida. I fled Somaliland during the 1988 war in Somalia so I know the problems of a refugee. I cannot forget the war. There was fighting, bullets. Our men were being slaughtered in front of us like goats. When we fled, we were afraid of wild animals. Hyenas are around during war - they like the taste of human flesh." .."When people first arrive, they are very afraid. They still have the feeling of where they've come from. When I look at them, it's like looking at people running out of a burning house. The new families who come here have nothing so they rely on us." .. "When it was built, State House was very beautiful. I never went in and saw it, the closest you could get was the gate. But people who'd seen inside used to tell stories, it was marvelous. .There are so many problems here now though. There is no water, no medical centre, no playgrounds for the children.". ."I want the international community to look with a kind eye on the community living in State House. Already we are displaced in our own country with no water, education, health services. At the same time, we have another group of refugees adding to our problems.".