Juneydi Farah and Aideed Mohamud are two Refugees as Re-builders™ (RRB) alumni who graduated from the course in 2020. They got to know each other by participating in RRB and bonded over a shared desire to support their home country of Somalia. They have developed initiatives and fundraised to support the village of Ba-ad, near Beledweyne city in the Hirshabelle State of Somalia. They have had astounding results in a short time frame.
In 2020 I visited my home country of Somalia for the first time in a long time. During my visit I went to see a small rural town where my ancestors lived – Ba’ad.
Ba’ad village is typical small rural village that lacks basic amenities like schools, health care and electricity. There are over 300 households in the village and the nearest town that has medical facilities is 30 kilometres away. There is no transport link to get to that town and villagers usually rent a taxi once a month for their shopping. I was told that the rate of death during childbirth is quite high as there is no trained midwife in the village. I was quite shocked by the lack of facilities medical services in Ba’ad so when I came back to the UK I discussed this with Aideed Mohamud, my fellow RRB alumni and then we started fundraising to support the village. We reached out to relatives in Somalia and in the diaspora and we managed to raise a significant sum.
Pupils at Ba'ad school
The first thing we did was refurbish and expand the only primary school in the village. Ba’ad Primary School is a basic education centre for the children in the community, the school is built and run by the community. The school was closed for almost eight years, and was badly dilapidated so the money we raised was really important to make it a place for local children to learn again.
The medical centre under construction. It is completed now.
The next task was to build a medical centre for mothers and children with a small ward as well that can deal with minor medical emergencies. At the moment we have managed to build the medical centre but now what we need to do is raise money to purchase medical equipment – of course this will be quite expensive so we have our work cut out for us. We have sourced midwives and trained nurses to run the medical centre and also we managed to get a doctor to visit the centre once a week. This medical centre will also provide medical assistance for another 9 surrounding villages with the same issues.
We have contacted various non-governmental organisations to help us with the equipment but so far no successes with our effort. But we will not give up, our fundraising has achieved so much already. We will keep trying are really hopeful that this will start to make life in Ba’ad much safer and easier for residents.