Ottawa's Somali Youth Initiative To Support Somalia

Q&A With Somali Aid Campaign

Our Famine Resistors team has been so impressed with the amazing work the youth in Ottawa have been doing for the last several months. We knew we had to connect with them and see what has motivated them to continue to work hard to support their brethren in Somalia in this difficult time. 

We hope this conversation motivates other youth to get involved and give back: 

1. What motivated you to mobilize for Somalia's drought?
We were motivated to mobilize for Somalia’s drought because of the actions of other community members during the last drought in 2011. The last time Somalia faced a crisis on this level, our community worked together to provide aid to those who needed it. We were inspired by their efforts and hoped to repeat them. After seeing the reports and articles regarding the drought, we felt it was our duty to organize an effort to provide relief.
 


2. In what ways have you organized in your local community?

We have organized local events to not only fundraise for the cause but to also bring the community together in a positive and uplifting way. Our first fundraiser was a bake sale at Carleton University to introduce the campaign. We’ve also organized a lecture event at the University of Ottawa, where we invited experts to speak about the current situation in Somalia, as well as informing the youth on how they can get involved. Another event we’ve organized is a fundraiser iftar, and now we have an upcoming BBQ to end the summer.
 


3. How much of an impact and what results have you had so far?
Our efforts have had a positive impact on the lives of our beneficiaries. We began our campaign by providing water to rural villages in the Bay region of Somalia. This project was crucial in delivering water. Since then, we’ve been providing food and water to support 10 families in Hargeisa and 14 families in Buhoodle on a monthly basis.


4. What do you hope for Somalia?
Our hope for Somalia is that it will one day have a stable government that can properly care for the needs of all citizens and creates a national system that prepares the country for drought conditions. We also hope that Somalia is freed from its dependency on foreign aid, becoming a self-sufficient state that takes advantage of its abundant natural resources.

 

Youth Drought Committee of Ohio (Gudhiga Abaaraha)

The Gudhiga Abaaraha(Youth Drought Committee) of Ohio was started around March of 2017 in response to the famine that heavily impacted Somalia and the neighboring countries. We were all deeply impacted by the rising death toll and the horrific pictures/videos of animals eating other animals, infants crying in their dead mothers arms, etc., and as such we decided that we needed to organize to raise funds and awareness about whats happening.

We did door knocks, solicited businesses, etc., and were able to galvanize youth, seniors, business owners, etc., to join hands in a common struggle to stand for our fellow humans. We were very fortunate that we raised over $100,000 in less than two months. Our campaign highlighted that "with unity, comes progress", because it was a concerted effort by the entire community.

We have high expectations for Somalia. We are very delighted with the Farmaajo/Kheyre administration and feel that its an important step in the right direction. Furthermore, we are pleased with the fact that younger adults are playing such a critical role in Somali politics with the election of the new parliament that consists primarily of younger Somalis. Lastly, we the diaspora also have a critical task of ensuring that we serve as entrepreneurs, inventors, philanthropists, so that the younger generation of Somalis can thrive.

- Youth Drought Committee of Ohio

Drop For The Drought Campaign

This Saturday, May 6 through May 10th, The Drop For The Drought campaign is collecting the following items to fight against the looming famine in Somalia.

  • Rehydration Packs i.e. Dirolyte
  • Sanitary Pads Blankets
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Tents
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Buckets
  • Clothes (Adults & Children) 

Halemeema and Ifrah highlight in this video the crucial need to come out and donate new and gently used items to support families in need back home, check it out and make sure to support this timely campaign.

For more information connect with them through their Facebook and Instagram pages for updates and how you can get involved.

Instagram; @dropforthedrought Facebook; @dropforthedrought

Or Email them at dropforthedrought@gmail.com

 

Crisis Mapping For Somalia's Drought

In the face of what could be another famine, our group came together to develop an innovative platform to connect drought relief responders and drought victims, so then we created Abaaraha.org.

Our goal is to collect data from a wide range of sources from social media and local contacts. We have established tools and approaches to assess the accuracy and relevance of incoming crowd-sourced reports via text, e-mail, photo, video and social media reports. We then make sure our information published in our mapping system are verified by credible sources.

Getting vital information of what and where the need is at no cost to any relief responders is our part in supporting Somalia at this time. We hope our system can help render aid to all communities faster and more effectively.

If you or anyone you know back home has a report they would like to submit regarding need on the ground or a responder that can support them, please check us out at www.abaaraha.org

- Team Abaaraha.Org

Somali Faces: From Sharing Stories, To Action

Given the critical warning signs that dominated the waves that an impending famine was on the rise in the Horn of Africa, we decided to cease our usual routine and do a special feature on the nomads affected by the sweeping drought. By showcasing their stories, the rest of the world can read their harrowing and personal stories of loss and how it affected them in general. We then decided to run an online fundraiser whilst doing featuring them.

We managed to raise around $61,000 in 8 days and are continue fundraising. Once we started implementing the campaign, we decided to put an emphasis on the remote (out-of-reach) settlements. The reason being is that many of the nomads that whose stories we highlighted mentioned that aid never reaches them. Although our funds and capacity were severely limited given the need, we were impressed at the level of community spirit displayed by the people that we helped thus far. For instance, a supply of food items meant for 60 families was equally shared by 500 families.

It was heart-warming to witness that irrespective of the harsh predicament they are in, their level of compassion and humanity dominated their actions. We have thus far covered four regions (Sool, Sanaag, Togdheer and Bari) and are currently operating in Bay, Bakool, Galgaduud, Hiiraan, Lower Shabelle and Gedo. The more funds we raise, the more affected families we can help. Every penny that we received went to the drought victims that are 100% of all funds collected. Somali Faces pays from their own pockets to manage the logistics involved.

- Mohammed Ibrahim Shire, Somali Faces

To learn more about this great initiative and donate: 

On the right; Mohammed Ibrahim Shire

On the right; Mohammed Ibrahim Shire

#LoveArmyForSomalia Raised $2.4 Million, What's next?

A few weeks back, Colin Kaepernick, an athlete with skills and soul, alongside the actor Ben Stiller caught our attention with a sobering plea for Turkish Airlines to support Somalia.  Victory came the following day as Turkish Airlines agreed to fill up their plane full with food and water.  This then led to the necessary task of raising funds to fill up the plane, so Jerome Jarre, the organizer, created a GoFundMe account.

In less than 24hrs they were well over $1 million in funds and today it is nearly $2.5 million to support American Refugee Committee, an organization that has been on the ground supporting Somalia for years. Chaka Bar, one of the organizers of #LoveArmyForSomalia has indicated on his social media accounts that half of the proceeds raised will go to the urgent need for water and food. The other half will be to explore sustainable solutions to make water accessible to many in need.

From the left: Chaka Bar, Ayaan(Mataano), Kat Graham, Nimco Ahmed Jerome Jarre

From the left: Chaka Bar, Ayaan(Mataano), Kat Graham, Nimco Ahmed Jerome Jarre

 

The distribution of water has already begun last week.  The people of Somalia and it's diaspora are extremely grateful for their kindness and generosity. 

 

Caawi Walaal To The Rescue

Caawi Walaal's food distribution. 

Caawi Walaal's food distribution. 

“European Union is humbled to see Somalis helping others ravaged by the drought and hails the Caawi Walaal volunteerism efforts.”-Veronique Lorenzo, European Union Ambassador to Somalia.

Caawi Walaal (Help A Sibling/Brethren) is a group of young Somalis that have launched a vigorous campaign to help millions of Somali families suffering from the drought throughout the country. The campaign was organically created in Somalia to raise awareness and funds for the looming famine. Caawi Walaal is led by a diverse group of volunteers in the country and throughout the globe. The group has been able to deliver food and water to remote locations that have either been inaccessible or have yet been supported by NGO’s.  100% of the GoFundMe proceeds raised through #CaawiWalaal campaign has been used to tackle the drought crisis.

Cawi Walaal has also launched Abaaraha.org crowdsourcing site where Somali's on the ground mark their location and their communities needs. This will also be coupled with listing out the organization that is on the ground nearby for you to support. 

It will take innovative and the support from everyone in the diaspora and humanity in general to raise the nearly 1 Billion needed to combat this crisis before it turns into a devastating famine. #Cawiwalaal is our favorite #FamineResistors and we look forward to hearing more from the great work they have been doing.

Check out their GoFundMe link and please donate generously: