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Do Children in Poverty Dream?


Meet Anissa (not her real name) a gorgeous fifteen years old and her toddler sister. They are IDP. Children. They live in a camp outside the city of Garowe; they have known nothing but the desolate theme of poverty. The toddler has one leg; the other has been chopped off when an insect bit into her leg. Now she has to be carried everywhere. Children in this IDP camp are without education, healthcare and sustainable water. These children don’t bathe for weeks. The little water their mother’s carry to the camp is used for urgent matters liking drinking and cooking. The water well is three to four miles away as so water is collected twice a week. Children in this camp go without the most basics of necessities. Food is scarce and most are malnourished. Annisa’s distant eyes tell a story of poverty, neglect, hunger and poor living condition. Her family squeezes inside a small structure made out of flimsy material and twigs. Education is the only way to get this young girl and her siblings out of poverty. Books and words should replace her empty days and vacant time. She like other children wanders around the camp only to be in the company of other children in similar conditions. Project Is Bedel wants to change that. Project Is Bedel is creating schools for children like Annisa to learn and dream for the hopes of the future. Project Is Bedel is a comprehensive project that has sponsored this camp and the children of this camp to become educated youngsters with healthcare and stable lives. Please support Project IS Bedel and donate to insure Annisa beats the odds.

Is Bedel is a concept rooted in creating change that is sustainable and stable. In Is Bedel we strive for lasting positive change to create effective sustainability rooted in having Somali solutions for Somali challenges. Hence a movement of change makers is born to educate, inspire and create economic freedoms to end poverty. Project Is Bedel takes into account the reality on the ground in Somalia and is based on culturally sustainable solutions.


Facts About recurring famine in Somalia

Facts about Somalia’s recurring droughts and famine

The humanitarian crisis in Somalia has worsened and reached epic proportion. A recent report from WHO indicate there is high risk the country will face its third famine in 25 years. More than 6.2 million people – half of the total population are currently in urgent need of humanitarian aid, including almost 3 million facing food security crisis. Nearly 5.5 million people are at risk of contracting waterborne diseases, more than half of whom are women and children under 5 years of age.

Here are some more facts:
1) Over two decades of conflict have left 1.1 million of the population displaced in their own country, and almost a million RE refugees in neighbouring countries. High food prices, combined with a recurring droughts and floods have compounded poverty and continue to threaten livelihoods.
2) Overall, 73 percent of Somalis live on less than US$2 per day. Somalia has an estimated population of 12 million, half of the total population is currently impacted by the drought.
3) The last famine of 2011 killed a quarter of a million people. This was the first time a famine had been declared in the Horn of Africa region in nearly thirty years.
5) Life expectancy in Somalia is 51 years.
6) Somalia has chronically high malnutrition rates; one in eight children under five is acutely malnourished.
7) Somalia has one of the world’s lowest enrolment rates for primary school‐aged children – 42 percent of children are in school. Of those, only 36 percent are girls. 8) More than 60% of Somalia’s population is younger than 25 percent. The unemployment rate for youth is 67 percent – one of the highest rates in the world.
9) Somalia is frequently ranked as one of the worst places to be a woman. In 2014, Somalia came bottom of the global rankings in terms of maternal health, child mortality, education and levels of women’s income and political status.
The watchers


She has the world on her shoulder

Look into her face and you see her broken soul. She has lost everything including livestock, family members and now she sits next to the only meager belonging she own in this world. What happened to our humanity when we allow a mother to have the world on her shoulder? We as humans have left her with nothing. She is hungry, thirsty, and has no more energy to walk. She sits and waits for us to deliver to her the most basic survival tools. We must come to her aid, we can’t stand by the side, and we must do better for this woman and her children and her neighbors.

Please Donte to this gofundme page!


The disconnect of Environmental Issues in Somalia

What is the relationship between a poor mother in Africa trying to feed her children and the environment she lives in? Would she even know the environment is something to consider in her life. With growing demands of staying above the fray to simply survive her poor conditions, would she even know when the very issues that effect her environment is something she needs to consider just like the water that needs fetching and the food she needs to feed her family.
In Somalia I asked a mother of five why there was so much trash and so much plastic bags and plastic containers everywhere in the rural city of Ceergaabo in the Sanaag region. Her reaction to the question was bewilderment: This is trash and people have trash because that is just how its. When I further took my Western ideas of trash collection to her and asked how is trash sorted, she was dismayed I was asking how she manages her trash. Everything goes into the trashed fields. Plastic and all. Her face confirmed my questions were peculiar to her. People in her neighborhood were considered good if they didn’t discard everything in front of their house. The fact they walked the trash to the depilated collection area of the city earned enough praises. In this small town the collection and separating of trash was something beyond her comprehension. She had more pressing issues to worry about. The business of trash wasn’t one of them.

A few months after our conversation the on going drought in Somalia became so severe pastoral nomads lost their livestock and fled to the small city to safe what was left of family. This is still the most pressing issue in the Sanaag region of Somalia. When I asked some locals if they knew what was causing the drought, they all agreed it was because enough rains haven’t fallen for the season. The drought exasperated local families who had to share shelter, water and food with relatives who have lost livestock, family and any affinity to their villages. They were forced to move to the city because there was nothing left of their mere existence in the pastoral life in the village.

These pastoral nomads and small town dwellers who depend so much on the livestock in neighboring villages wouldn’t have the luxury of connecting the drought to the severe tree cutting, management of trash and overall awareness of their environment. To them the rains didn’t come and that is that.

It’s always easy to point to the environmental issues and the need to stop using trees for charcoal. But to bring these ideas in a cultural acceptable way to the locals needs effort and awareness campaigns, neither of which is available.
Locals haven’t simply made the decision to connect their lost livestock to the trees and the charcoal and the fire they use to cook their meals. That mind set is simply not there. The challenge to bring this mindset to the fore is as follows:

Environmental issues are not even an idea in the daily struggle of local residents. People deal with droughts, diseases and deforestation totally in a separate way. They don’t connect being environmentally aware and stopping certain practices could help the situation.

Poverty in their lives creates desperation to burn more wood for survival
Trash and its aftermath to the environment are not considered problems that directly affect daily life.


Local owned locally produced awareness solutions must embarked on
Embark on environmental campaigns
Create local partnerships to make campaign successful
Keep culture and local norms at the center of campaigns
Don’t discuss campaigns in terms of foreign ideals but concentrate on tradition and cultural norms
Solution’s that bring issues such as water borne disease and deforestation is a way they can see how the environment directly affects them.
Educate young people who are from the area to carry the awareness forward.
Let community see the benefits the awareness campaign has for its community
Let there be incentives for community to make the changes

Adult African Female wearing Traditional clothes and face paint holds back her head and laughs , holding a basket filled with vegetables, spinach, she has harvested.

African Market: Local Solutions and Sustainable Development

In Africa being a rural dweller means you rely on your own talents, knowhow and centuries old solutions to daily problems. There are no good roads and often unreliable government solutions and no International NGO to solve recurring problems. The solution and ingenuity comes out of community dependence on each and age old solutions that have been used for centuries.
Whether there is a famine or a drought or some unnerving pandemic of disease, these solutions are what safe millions of rural Africans from disappearing into the disparaging abyss of poverty and it’s after math. It’s these solutions that should be embarked on by anyone doing development work in rural towns and villages. Often there is a huge gap by the international NGO who are unknowing of the needs of these silent rural towns and unable to reach them. Rural areas in Africa deal with a lot more poverty, a lot more hunger, and no healthcare facilities to speak of. In Africa persistent issues of poverty that ails big cities, is most likely to eliminate and destroy rural dwellers. Rural dwellers are silent and hidden. For centuries they have relied on their skills, local talents, traditional methods and these skills are still working when everything else fails. Some age-old solutions used by rural African communities are:

• Selling to each there – a small shop in the neighborhood often serves that neighborhood with their daily needs. For women with limited time and many responsibilities being able to buy and sometimes borrow from the friendly neighborhood store is a blessing
• Helping each other – when a family is need the whole neighborhood comes through for them
• Being each other’s money keeper (Banks) – there are the auntie banks who hold money for others. This is a trusted system that works well without the fees and drawn out outlays of money
• Saving schemes – people pool their money together and each member of the pool collects an average saving of six to seven months on agreed upon timeline. This is a great way to safe money for big projects
• Lending schemes – People lend each other money without much constrains on family income on a trust basis. This saves individuals who are already struggling to not pay outrageous fees
• Helping hand from remittance – many people rely on remittances from family living in the Diaspora.

These solutions often become the saviors of the day when tragedy struck and things go weary. It’s important to note the strengths of the community and work through these local solutions whether you are a small-scale community organization or a large International NGO. These local community solutions work best when enlisted. Best practices and sustainability development must learn and include these methods in their own programs.
#LocalAfricanSolution #AfricanSolution, #AfricanKnowHow #LocalnotGlobal #AfricanMarketSolutions


When Climate Change Kills

On the eve of Thanksgiving while Americans get ready to feast and give thanks, many across the globe are experiencing poverty in its most extreme form.

In Somalia a drought that has raged for three years has devastated families. Animals and family members are dying in record numbers.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA); due to the drought, 1.2 million Somalis are suffering food insecurity, a 20% increase in the number of people suffering from severe food insecurity in Somalia, according to data provided by the United Nations Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO).

The report also states that in the last six months many Somalis are increasingly suffering from malnutrition due to lack of food.

According to estimates, nearly 320,000 children suffer from malnutrition in Somalia, of them, 50,000 face severe acute malnutrition.

OCHA also stated in addition to the poor food situation, an outbreak of cholera hit the country and since last January more than 13,600 cases were reported.

Losing family members and animals to this drought is devastating to poor rural nomads whose only commodity is their animal. When sold in the livestock market the proceeds feed the family, buy water, and it may even educate children. Owning a flock of animals is the only security a nomad family can depend on.

Now scores of families are losing everything they own to the drought. With a weak government that has no institutions and no International NGO presence in these rural villages, the severity of the situation is reaching crises point. The regions affected the most are the Northern regions of Somalia. Our partners in Somalia are reporting efforts by Somali Diaspora to help those affected, although the efforts are minimal.

We urge the International community including the WFP, The UN, USAID, The European Union and their partners to assist the drought ridden parts of Somalia with emergency aid such as food, water and shelter.

For more information please contact Humanity Against Poverty.


Things We Share


There is beauty in sharing. Sometimes people share a jacket, a blanket, and a bed. There are no such things as something belonging to one person. Some girls share a pretty dress. If there is one girl who own makeup, all the girls in the village line up on special occasions to use the communal makeup to pretty themselves. They help each other apply it and then they show up all pretty and made up at special celebrations like weddings.

There is so much sharing and love that exist in many poor villages across the globe. There is awe in wanting to share and getting pleasure out of it. Girls share outfits and shoes. Sometimes they share dressy outfits when they go to weddings. Sharing has more meaning here than anywhere else. Sometimes the sharing is part of an obligation to each other. A family may share a meal with another family who simply doesn’t have anything for that day. A neighborhood may come together to take a care of a family a lot needier than them.

You may come across a boy in a nice sweater, but within the same week you may find three other boys wearing the same sweater, you admire them for being so thoughtful with one another. This is a sharing culture that we may not understand when our closets are overflowing with cloths. All the sharing we do here in the US comes from having that choice, making that decision to share your house or car or your things with someone, but there is always an exchange of money or something of value involved. This is not that kind of sharing, it’s sharing that involves nothing more than a kind act of humanity. It’s the kind of sharing neighbors; siblings cousins and friends do to help each other. It’s the most generous way a community can take care of each other.

Portrait of a cheerful african woman with hands raised pointing up


The Successful African Woman

It’s essential to draw up a “things to do” list on a daily basis and set priorities in executing them, making sure that any unfinished task get posted to the next day’s list”. – Folorunsho Alakija self-made oil tycoon from Nigeria.

African women are making huge strides in the business world. We have an amazing array of headline makers like Folorunsho Alakija, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Mimi Alemayehou, Lupita Nyong’ and Warsan Shire just to name a few. These African women are in some of the most competitive arena today. They are writers, entrepreneurs, human rights activities as well as billionaire businesswomen who have single handedly cut through a world of unequal pay and a glass ceiling that refuses to crack. One can succeed in this arena if one sets her eyes on the area where she wants to shine. Success doesn’t come to people easily, even for those with family wealth and many connections, there are habits and believe systems one must adopt in order to change every No to a huge YES.There are many essential ingredients to becoming not only successful but also purposeful in today’s fast paced technology driven ever so competitive world. Here are few habits, practices and attitudes that prove success.

Start Somewhere

Successful people take every step of their work life as an asset they can draw from later. Never think a job is too small for you. You gain something from every experience. Be professional and develop positive attitude while doing jobs that may not lead you to be the CEO of that company. Learn from your boss and pay attention with the mind set you will take something of value from every job.

Toot Your Own Horn

If you don’t talk yourself up, no one will. You must be confident and ready to sell your idea at any point, without being too aggressive. You don’t want to make people flee from you, do it in a tasteful manner.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask For What You Want

One of the most important aspects of being an African woman is we have been told for years to keep our voices down. In this day and age, if you don’t ask for what you want, no one will read your mind. Be brave and ask for what you want, there is nothing to loose here. Train yourself to be forward with things you need whether it’s a promotion, a sales account, a favor to recommend you for that next job etc. There is an African proverb that says ‘ Even a mother forgets to give to a quite child.’

Be Frequent and Constant

If you want to be part of a world of influence, there is no sitting around and waiting for someone to recognize your talents. You must contribute something of value that can be noticed. If you are aprocrastinator, then you need to train yourself to be more action oriented.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Make a personal achievement plan for things you want to accomplish in one year, two years, five years etc. Put your ambitions of why you want to accomplish those set of things and why. Seeing believes, if you commit your plan to paper, it’s easier to take action and make it real.

Build a Reputation.

Blog, or volunteer or write an article or guest blog for some one in your industry, whatever it takes, be visible and be known and get your name out there. This is the best way to connect and get to know people in the industry you are trying to join. This is how you become an expert in the field.

You Are Never Too Old

The only unsuccessful road is the one not taken, be bold and get into it now. It’s never too late and there is no such a thing as too old, too poor or too anything. If you have an idea to sell to the world, a book to write, a product to develop now is the time. Do it now matter your age or geographical location.

Have A Positive Attitude.

Stay away from negativity, delete negative toxic friends, and surround yourself with positivity people. Don’t be entitled or lazy. Don’t doubt yourself. Accept your mistake and learn from them. Forge ahead and remember you can achieve anything you set your mind on. The only obstacle is the one you set for yourself. Be passionate and persistent.