“This year, we went to Mogadishu, Somalia to see how we could be helpful. Somalia is a country torn by war and struggling to recover from years of famine, war, unrest and violence. Unfortunately, the biggest victims are the women and children. It’s estimated there are over a million displaced people in the country right now, and the vast majority of these people struggle to meet the basic needs of survival, let alone to pursue education and livelihoods.
Some of the biggest needs right now are improving educational opportunities for the youth, and safety and care for women and children. We’re going to start – but we are going to need a lot of help!
We decided to start helping with two projects:
1. We opened a safe house for women and underage girls who are victims of sexual violence. Gender based violence is a huge concern in Somalia. Many of the victims are living in overcrowded refugee camps of thousands of people and have no security or safety. They live in makeshift shelters or tents, and have to walk long distances for food and water. Often, there is no way to seek medical attention or justice for these crimes. While we can’t solve all these problems at once, we can provide a home for some of these women to come and live, get medical attention and counseling. In addition, we will provide them with training on some basic skills with which to provide an income and enough education to be able to run a small business. More than anything, we wanted to open up a home for these women to come and be safe and loved.
2. We also want to start improving educational opportunities for girls. Women and girls are extremely disadvantaged at this time, and one of the ways we can help that is to give them an education. We starting with 100 little girls in primary school, and are doing this by working with an existing school in Mogadishu. Funding will go towards tuition, school supplies, renting the building, employing teachers, and feeding the kids breakfast and lunch. These girls need an opportunity for their future, and we can provide that with starting with the basics: education. This school is a place of safety, love and opportunity for them.”
Below are some ways that you can get behind the work we are doing with Love Does including monthly sponsoring one of our girls in school to helping fund the safe home. Right now we are not taking teams into Somalia due to the safety issues within the country but Michael McDonald, Bob Goff and Deborah Ericsson go each year to continue building our relationship with our partners on the ground.