Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world, devastated by war, poverty, high food prices and shortages and disasters such as drought. The recent drought is said to one of the worst ones to ever hit the Horn of Africa. Close to 20 million people are faced with hunger and malnutrition including 6 million children.
Like other African nations, families in Somalia with limited means are forced to make choices about who in their family can attend school and oftentimes, boys are chosen first before girls. The girls stay home and take care of the house.
Education is power.
It's a well known fact across the world that educating girls has an enormous impact on the health of their community. Their entire village can be transformed and the cycle of poverty and illiteracy slows.
Villages who have more educated citizens have a much higher rate of economic stability, improved health, and benefit from understanding the world.
Despite the advantages to sending girls to school, they face a unique set of barriers that prevents them from going to school, including many cultural and economic hurdles. The situation for girls to attend school in Somalia has not improved much despite many nonprofit organizations working on access to education for all.
How did The Cawo Project come about?
In 2015, Said Mohamed and a few of his close and like-minded friends, created the nonprofit organization called Horn Development Center with the mission to create and implement sustainable programs that improve the lives of people living in the Horn of Africa by bridging the education and health gaps.
Said Mohamed is a U.S. citizen and a resident of Minnesota since 2002. As a higher education professional, he works full time at a community college and teaches subjects related to health and human services at a local University in Minneapolis. The small town where Said grew up and lived until he was 10 years old is called Arabsiyo.
The Cawo Project is part of this effort. The aim is to raise funds to impact the lives of families by providing tuition and school supplies to children living in and around Arabsiyo. Said's family and friends who live in the area as well as school officials can collaborate to make it happen. Cawo is a Somali name for "fortunate."