Aadamiga USA is a Non-Profit Organization established in 1987 in Mogadishu, Somalia. Aadamiga’s mission is to promote a non-
violent multicultural society where people respect all ethnicities and cultures. One of Aadamiga’s major goals is to assist internally displaced peoples (IDP’s) and other vulnerable communities in Somalia through various projects and programs.
Aadamiga’s main objective is to assist low-income women and their families overcome the hardships of living in an unstable social and political environment. Our first project in 1987 was in microfinance, crediting women loans to expand their small businesses. The loans were used in diverse business activities such as agriculture, clothing sales, and food sales. The microfinance program proved very successful, with a high loan-repayment rate.
At the start of the civil war in 1988, Aadamiga assisted the internally displaced people that fled northern Somalia when the central government was cracking down particularly brutally in that region. Civilians, mostly from Hargeisa, fled to Mogadishu to escape the violence. Aadamiga assisted them with humanitarian relief, including food and donated clothing.
In 1991, after the overthrow of the Somali government, Aadamiga assisted the internally displaced people in Mogadishu by distributing food until the region became too unstable for the NGO to function, at which point we suspended our activities. Aadamiga’s first projects in Somalia were funded by OXFAM USA, NOVIB, CIDA, African Development Foundation, among other supporters.
In 2002, Aadamiga re-established itself from a base in the Washington DC area, in the United States, attaining a 501(c)(3) Non Profit status. The NGO then began working with the Somali refugee community in Northern Virginia, conducting workshops and providing to counseling for the transition to life in the US, domestic violence prevention, mental health awareness, as well as cultural preservation and cultural orientation.
In late 2006, the situation in Somalia deteriorated rapidly when the nation was occupied by Ethiopian troops. Aadamiga was called upon by internally displaced people who fled to Afgoye, outside of Mogadishu, who called for humanitarian assistance especially water and shelter. Aadamiga raised nearly $10,000 from Somali Diaspora and worked to provide critically needed clean water to the IDP camps. Eventually International NGO’s arrived and helped to relieve some of the water issues. In the US, the organization worked with the Somali Diaspora community to raise awareness about the plight of the civilians, and to protest failing policies by the various actors in the conflict. Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia are still unstable due to fighting between insurgent groups and government forces. The populations in parts of southern Somalia are among the most vulnerable in the world, due to the prolonged political instability, exacerbated by intermittent droughts.
Recently Aadamiga has completed a needs assessment in Lower Shabelle and Banadir regions, discovering tremendous problems in the regions, particularly with regards to health, water and education. Civil instability and draughts have exacerbated the struggles of the populations, exerting greater pressure on the limited food, water and other resources. Aadamiga is planning to expand its efforts of alleviating the humanitarian emergency through a community based approach.
Due to the absence of a central government, as well as the absence of humanitarian agencies, because of the inaccessibility of region, the humanitarian assistance is inadequate and as a result the majority of the population lacks education and health facilities and clean water. Aadamiga was approached March 2010 by the elders of Arbow Yaroow, a village about 25 miles from Buulo Mareer in Lower Shabelle Region, and the elders offered to donate a large plot of land to Aadamiga for the construction of the projects. They asked the non-profit to build a school, mosque, clinic and well on the land. Right now, the village of 9000 families does not have any of these valued structures. The elders said that the main health problem that they have is Malaria and “kaadi Dhiig” which means blood in the urine. The Elders also asked help with their farms. They said that the flooding is hindering them from working on their farms. They asked for assistance with building a canal and getting them farming tools so that they could go back to farming again. They also asked for assistance with the flooding that cuts their road from the main town of Buulo Mareer. The Elders said that when it floods the road is cut off and they have to use a very bad road which takes more than three times the time. They also said that on some of the land they use handmade boats to cross to their village because the flooding is so bad. Aadamiga informed the Elders that it will try to assist in whatever way possible but it said that for the time being Aadamiga will assist with building the school.
The Somali Community in the Washington DC Area helped with the construction of the first part of the ArbowYaroowSchool, and it was opened on November 6, 2010. It is in Buulo Mareer, Somalia in a village in the Gedo region located in the southwestern or lower Shabelle region part of the country. Free education is provided to primary school students. The School opened with 48 girls and 72 boys, and hopes to expand in the future because we have more than 300 students, between the ages of 7 to 13, on the waiting list. Aadamiga provides free breakfast to all of the students because malnutrition is a problem in the region, and a child with an empty stomach cannot learn. The costs associated with the school include the cost of the physical structure, its maintenance, as well as the cost of personnel, including teachers and cooks. Aadamiga is looking for funding to add 5 more classrooms and 5 additional teachers to be able to allow more students the opportunity for an education.
In January 2011 the drought got worse and the livestock started to die then the villagers looked to the Aadamiga to provide food for the entire village of over 900 people. Aadamiga found out about the famine early on when the livestock of the families of the school started to die. Aadamiga began doing additional fundraising to provide food and distribute uncooked Beans, Sorghum, sesame seeds, Sugar, oil etc. for the village. Then in May 2011 the drought became more severe and other surrounding villages heard that Arbow Yaroow have food and water well and overnight hundreds of people came. Those people were heading to Mogadishu because they heard that they would be able to find food and assistance there. People from the 23 villages called Deelay started to abandon their village and walk to Mogadishu. They walked at night time because it was hot during the day. They stopped at the Aadamiga Feeding center in Arboow Yaroow but we had to tell many of them to continue walking because we could not keep them there as Aadamiga did not have enough resources to feed thousands of people. Our staff on the ground was asked how many people were there infront of him and he said “can you count Bees? I can’t even count how many people there are. It is like swarms of bees. I would never believe so many people lived in those villages unless I saw them with my own eyes tonight”. We could not promise to feed that many people. We kept the children and elderly, but had to send the rest on their way. Now we are feeding 1500 people once a day, but everyday more people keep coming. Any government funding does not support us. We are sustained by donations from the small Somali community in Ohio, Virginia and D.C. area. That was not enough for the crisis but many lives were saved at the feeding centers.
This crisis was not just affecting the Lower shabeele but the entire Southern Somalia was experiencing the worst drought in 60 years which created a humanitarian crisis when added on top of the a stateless poor nation that have an entire generation of 4.5 million and over half a million that are orphans which has been left uneducated, exploited by warlords and extremists, and are now dying of hunger. In Somalia, there is no welfare or jobs and in the last few years, terrorists and warlords have taken advantage of children’s desperation. The UN on July 1, 2011 is calling the Somali drought, the worst humanitarian disaster in the world.
According to the UN, it was affecting 10 million people. People were walking for 8 days to two weeks looking for food and water walking to the refugee camps but many children were dying on the journey because of dehydration. 1,400 walk to Kenya every day. 54,000 made the journey in June. One woman interviewed by the Huffington Post said that her three children died on the journey. It is estimated, that 485,000 of these children have malnutrition. Thousands of died since January from hunger. 10,000 arrive in Mogadishu looking for help.
Many died, and many fled to the refugee camps in surrounding countries like Kenya. But as of March 2011 the refugee, camps were full. The refugees were splitting what little food there available, because thousands come every day to begging to be let into the refugee camps. It was a humanitarian disaster and many children died in Arbow Yarow and the villages around it before Aadamiga opened the feeding center.
During the famine Aadamiga ran Arbow Yaroow Feeding Center in Arboow Yaroow. Aadamiga feeding over 600 people at 49 cents for one meal a day of rice mixed with sugar and oil. We wanted to increase the meals to two a day at $1 a day. But we admit that rice alone was not nutritious enough. We wanted to have sesame seeds, beans, sorghum, and wheat, but it would cost $3 per person to feed daily. We are doing the best with what we have. We had to buy big cooking pots, cup, plates, utensils, and wood. We couldn’t afford the solar cooker. The reason why we had to dig a well was because in order to cook all the food we needed access to water. The well was $3000, but we would have liked to dig the well deeper to the better tasting water but it would have cost $7300. Every time we have to buy food from Buulo Mareer, we rent a truck for $200 since we don’t have our own truck and the road to Arbow Yaroow is bad.
Aadamiga did not want mothers looking for food for 8 days and their babies dying on the way to the refugee camps in Kenya or Ethiopia. Aadamiga wanted to prevent people from thinking that the only option they had was to become a refugee in neighboring countries. We knew that it is better for people to stay inside Somalia and be assisted there instead of forcing them to flee Somalia looking for food, it is not humane to make them die while walking.
On February 2010 Aadamiga has identified that the street children issue in K4 has become an epidemic. Aadamiga partnered with Amoud Foundation and Kerdro Creek to provide a place for street children in the K4 area to sleep. With the help of the Amoud Foundation funding for the project the children now have a safe place to sleep. However many of the children still need assistance to stop sniffing glue and using other alcohol and drugs. Aadamiga is trying to find funding for this phase of the project which is the hardest phase because psychological and mental health issues come into play.
On October 21, 2012 Aadamiga opened its first academy school in Mogadishu. The school is located in the IDP camp in the Hodan area, and has 40 female students and 40 male students as well as 4 teachers. Aadamiga is also in the process of rehabilitating water well in the Hodan area in order to distribute more water to the IDP camps in the area. The water well was severely damaged by heavy gunfire in the area and is currently running at less that 50% of its capacity.
On February 2010 Aadamiga has identified that the street children issue in K4 has become an epidemic. Aadamiga partnered with Amoud Foundation and Kerdro Creek to provide a place for street children in the K4 area to sleep. With the help of the Amoud Foundation funding for the project the children now have a safe place to sleep. However many of the children still need assistance to stop sniffing glue and using other alcohol and drugs. Aadamiga is trying to find funding for this phase of the project which is the hardest phase because psychological and health issue.
On October 21, 2012 Aadamiga opened its first academy school in Mogadishu. The school is located in the IDP camp in the Hodan area,
and has 40 female students and 40 male students as well as 4 teachers. Aadamiga is also in the process of rehabilitating water well in the Hodan area in order to distribute more water to the IDP camps in the area. The water well was severely damaged by heavy gunfire in the area and is currently running at less that 50% of its capacity.
Aadamiga is currently working with the government to take over one of the old government schools to renovate and have the children attend real school.
In the future, Aadamiga will continue to run the Arbow Yaroow School, as well as provide seeds to farmers, job training, and clean water projects. Aadamiga hopes to expand and add five new classrooms to the school and build the village water well deeper. The aim is for the village to be self-sufficient in three years. Elders in several towns have donated a plot of land to Aadamiga in order to build a school and water well including Galkayo, Buulo Mareer, Mareer Gur and Beled Weyne. The organization would hope to work in these towns as well and assist them with education, farming and clean water. The main goal of Aadamiga is to build an elementary school and water well in every town in SomaliaRead Full Article