Few countries have witnessed as much social upheaval and anarchy in the recent past as Somalia. Through drought, famine, war and a breakdown of lawful systems, whole swaths of the country were given up to a rival network of warlords. Hundreds of thousands of people – those that could – got out.
With help from Oxfam, the Pastoral Youth Leadership Program (PYL) of Horn Relief, in association with other Somali youth organizations, is trying to create a space for young Somali voices to be heard. They are engaged with Somali student groups abroad including associations at York University, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa to bridge the divide between young people at home and across the Diaspora.
Horn Relief also established and trained Village Education Committees that were able to mobilize support within the Diaspora to help repair local schools, provide furniture, and collect materials to build new classrooms.