Baidoa Public Library (New Horn Institute) - Somalia

Project Goal: $20,000

Current Progress: $2,770 (14.00%)

The revival of formal education opportunities in Somalia is growing, but there are enormous challenges faced by those working to improve access to education opportunities for Somali children.  Baidoa, 240 km south of Mogadishu, is the capital city of Bay region and the interim capital of Southwest State of Somalia. Baidoa was once named "the city of death" following the 1991 famine. It has an estimated population of 300,000, is situated at the center of one of the most densely populated agricultural regions in the nation. To date, there is no national or state curriculum for schools in Southwest state, particularly the city of Baidoa. Each of the schools in Baidoa, regardless of its location, has its own curriculum borrowed either from the neighboring countries or the Gulf States. 

The number of children going to school is on the rise, but the quality of education is a major concern. This relative growth in literacy among young Somalis is creating a demand for a reading environment, implying both reading materials and physical place. School supplies are extremely limited and libraries, school and public, do not exist in the State of Southwest. Literacy cannot grow well under such substantive limitations on literacy skills if these young people have no access to reading materials. Youth have no place to go for reading in order to demonstrate that education is not memorization, but the ability to learn independently throughout life. After leaving school, most youth have no materials to read, limited access to internet, and limited or no electricity at home. This hinders the potential to build on the knowledge base they acquired in school. The absence of literacy materials or a place for reading is coupled with unemployment, exposure to extremism, and the lack of healthy platforms for youth engagement. 

Your donation will help foster a culture of literacy in Baidoa, providing educational opportunity for students in need. Thank you for your support!

Contact: Sharif Haji, smhaji@ualberta.ca