Helping Hand for Relief and Development’s (HHRD) School of Excellence in in Mogadishu was established in 2014 with the aim of bridging inequality gaps in Somalia’s education system. The institution offers free primary education to 300 orphans and vulnerable children from those internally displaced and host communities in Mogadishu to supplement government initiatives in building a quality and sustainable education system in the country. The students range from kindergarten to 8th grade. The class attendance has improved due to various support that children receive from HHRD in the region.
13-year-old Mahad Hassan Adam is a 7th grader at HHRD’s School of Excellence. He lost his father due to the civil war in Somalia. His father was the backbone of his family; this loss made them vulnerable. As they grew up, Mahad and his old brother became shoe shiners to support the family and their mom was a cleaner in the village. His mother registered him for the School of Excellence in 2014 where he presently studies. He wishes to become a doctor when he grows up. Mahad shares, “Since I joined this school, I received a lot of support including free education, scholastic materials, school uniform, shoes, school bags, Ramadan food and feeding programs. Thank you HHRD!”
An estimated 773 million people are illiterate worldwide. The lack of an education poses insurmountable obstacles throughout their lives. Education serves as a lifeline for children and youth in crises and emergencies. It is more than the right to learn; in fact, a proper education can benefit the community at large.
HHRD’s Education Support Program (ESP) aims to further the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal #4 ‘Quality Education’. The objective of this goal is to ensure inclusive and equitable education for all by 2030. This will be done through improved learning, skills, and protection for children. ESP helps communities through scholarships, provision of school supplies, stipends, tutoring services, and home visits.
Education is the key to opening the doors of endless possibilities. Refugee children are given a chance a life and opportunity to change the trajectory of their lives. With a proper education they can in turn become tomorrow’s doctors, teachers, lawyers and leaders.