From Lost Generation To The Generation Of Hope: The Story Of How Technology Is Saving Somalia
ANNUAL ONE YOUNG WORLD SUMMIT BRINGS TOGETHER YOUNG TALENT FROM EVERY INDUSTRY ,SECTOR AND COUNTRY. THE SUMMIT IS HELD BY THESE DELEGATES, TO DEBATE, FORMULATE AND SHARE INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR THE PRESSING ISSUES THE WORLD IS FACING. This year it kicked off in Bogata, Colombia on 4th-October 2017.
Among the young the delegates who captured the conference was Abdi Adow from Somalia.His theme was on the elevation of poverty, drought and famine in somalia. Born during the civil war ,the Somali Swedish elaborated in his speech on how innovation through new technology has helped save lives in Somalia.
His message was relayed through out the world having interviewed by the international media outlets.This has sparked a wide range of debates and discussion on his theme by most in Somalia and abroad through social media platforms such Facebook twitter Youtube etc.
Here is his full speech :
On poverty alleviation and economic development kicked off in ? on From Lost Generation To The Generation Of Hope: The Story Of How Technology Is Saving Somalia
A One Young Leader conference where young leadres start leading Among the delegates who captured the conference was Abdi Adow from Somalia.
Born during the civil war the Somali Swedish in his speech elaborated how innovation through new technology has helped save lives in Somalia
My name is Abdi Addow, I am Swedish but I wasn’t born in Sweden. I was born and raised in Mogadishu Somalia, during the height of the civil war. I have seen death and destruction first hand, from a very early age. I became internally displaced in my own home country . , and those like me who were born during the civil war are often referred to as, the “lost generation”, because we knew nothing but war, destruction and anarchy. As the war progressed, I, like many of my peers at that time, decided to leave the country to go abroad. We wanted an honest chance to survive and a chance to a secure future, away from war and destruction.
So, I understand suffering, hunger and disease from my personal experience. When drought hit Somalia early this year, I felt like I had to do something. A few friends and I, got together and came up with the first ever Somali own and driven grass root initiatives. One was Caawiwalaal, which literally means “Help your siblings”, and “Abaaraha.org” which is a crowdsourcing program and literally translates to “Drought”.
#CaawiWalaal is a humanitarian, awareness raising campaign, intended to inform about the effects of droughts on the Somali society. It aims to stimulate collective response from both Somali and international communities. The campaign has two objectives: first, to bring forth information about the deteriorating situation of drought affected families in Somalia; second, to organize and coordinate help, for faster response to save lives and alleviate suffering.
Social media enabled us to mobilise youth in the far corners of the country, from Borama to Baardheere. From the time, it was set up to this date we have managed to raise 200K and reached 500 households with water trucking, essential drugs and food distribution.
Every penny that was collected reach it destination, there were no overhead cost. It was voluntary based. people put in their money. That in return created trust among Somalis. Caawiwalaal has now become a household name among Somalis and non-Somalis working in the field of Humanitarian.
Abaaraha is the first ever crisis mapping platform built for Somalia that provides relief responders with information that allows them to connect with drought victims, so they can render aid faster and more effectively. As a crowd sourcing platform, Abaaraha.org facilitated for people to report from their villages and report events as they happen. This meant that we received information faster and could convey information to help organisations for quicker response hence saving lives and prevent people from becoming IDP’s. i.e. Internal displaced people.
Both Caawiwalal and Abaaraha would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the availability of modern technology that we have today. You see, even the poorest countries like Somalia, have access to advanced mobile technology, even in the most remote villages in Somalia you will find a mobile phone…no electricity but mobile phones in plenty. People buy and sell their livestock, buy supplies and water, using mobile money transfer, it is amazing!
We therefore need to rethink how we use technology in poor countries, especially in the fields of humanitarian and development. It is a shame and disgrace to see children and mothers die for lack of food and water in one corner and people living in plenty in the other corner of the world. Often these two groups do not know about each other. That is an acceptable in this age of technology acceleration, digitalisation and interconnectedness.
If my friends and I, a group of young people could help thousands of people and raise thousands of dollars in a very short time and reached people thousands of miles away using simple technology, imagine what we can do if all the youth got together to compact poverty!
The Global agenda 2030 states, it it’s goal number one and two; to combat poverty and end hunger. These are Nobel and ambitious goals but remember the youth make up 75% of the Somali population. Similar scenario can be seen in other developing countries. Therefore, it’s important to involve youth in the decision-making process of this agenda, if it is to succeed. The youth are often victims of every crisis and natural disasters but when given the chance, they are thinkers, problem solvers and a voice for combating poverty and hunger.
That’s why my friends and I in Caawiwalaal and Abaaraha, the so called “lost generation” have turn to be generation of hope for Somalia despite out past experiences. With our laptops and internet connection, we are connecting people, coordinating aid and mobilising communities. Hence bringing much needed skills, talent, professional and entrepreneurship acumen to Somalia and the Somali people. I urge you to do the same.
I believe in people, the human potential and the possibilities of the future. We all have the power.