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.