How to Help Somalia

I’m not going to put up the requisite starving children picture on this blog. As a child of the 80s, I remember how the pictures of starving children in East Africa left a largely negative impact on the perception of Ethiopians and Somalis.  Instead, I am just going to write something brief as a reminder of what we can do.

2011 has truly been a traumatic year, not that we forgot Haiti in 2010, but this is a devastating humanitarian crisis. I am especially disturbed by how the extremist group Al-Shabaab is not allowing a number of aid organizations in to help, dismissing claims that there is a famine. Famine or drought, people are dying and people need help. But there are organizations that are getting in there, such as Islamic Relief and the Red Crescent, trying to address some of the immediate needs. The Huffington Post also has a page up outlining some organizations to help Somalia. Many of us understand that much of the aid we give in the developing world only provide bandaid solutions. I pray that our society begins to invest in innovation, encouraging our most brilliant minds to tackle the social, political, economic, and environmental problems that have contributed to this crisis. But right now, we have festering wounds that must be treated immediately. Let us clean up these wounds and apply the bandages so we can save lives. I hope more of us become inspired to be committed long term solutions for the dealing with our greatest challenges. And for those of us whose life’s purpose takes us elsewhere, please don’t forget that we are one family and that we cannot affirm our own humanity if we turn our backs to the suffering of others.

7 thoughts on “How to Help Somalia

  1. Dear whom it may concern

    I am a 21 year old egyptian currently reading about problems happening in Somalia and I wish i could help in any way possible. I do not want to only donate money, but I want to go to Somalia and stay there for 5 days and help with anything possible. My problem is that I do not know anything there so I will need help with place to stay(hotel), translation, what to do?how to do it?with who?where? transportation, etc..I will be paying flight and hotel offcourse from my own money, but I would prefer to be with a group that now what to do and where since I now Somalia is not the safest place. Please tell me what I could do to help and procedures needed to be followed.

    many thanks and my hearts out for all the victims of this tragedy,

    Garranah, Mohamed


  2. I know a lot of people want to go and help, but I don’t know if that’s a good idea especially if you haven’t worked with international aid agencies. Also, you might be more of a financial and even physical liability in these camps if you can’t pay the costs of your room and board and medical insurance in case you get sick. You might find a religious or church group or an aid agency and put in your resume offering your services. I did a little research and they said that no one is asking for volunteers right now. They have highly trained professionals, doctors, and emergency responders and many local people in Kenya and Somalia. What is really needed is funding.

    One might consider getting a job at the UN or other NGO that works in the region.


  3. I’m a graduated pharmacy student, I’d like to volunteer to help people in Somalia .I’m wondering where to look for to arrange that.


  4. I just graduated in Civil Engineering, I think if there is a possibility where I can go there and do something, it would be great.


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