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The future is bright for Web 2.0 in Puntland, Somalia

ASSIGNMENT for week one: The future is bright for Web 2.0 in Puntland, Somalia

What really excites me the most about Web 2.0 is the endless opportunities it offers. Web 2.0 has linked me to many people whom I otherwise would not have met. It has crossed boundaries, borders and cultures. Its impact is huge and I believe it has the potential to contribute positively to women’s global empowerment movements across the globe. Being in war-torn Somalia myself, it is very unsafe for young girls to travel easily due to insecurity and conflict. Web 2.0 has provided them and myself with important information sources about the existence of opportunities and resources on for example, online trainings, online seminars and online courses. It has enabled and empowered us to turn that information into knowledge and transfer that knowledge to others in Somalia.

I was able to create awareness about certain human rights abuses in Somalia on the internet using Web 2.0 scoial networking sites during my job as the Gender and Human Rights officer at UNDP Somalia, a job which I myself got thanks to Web 2.0. I also got my current employment as the Gender Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Education in Puntland Somalia because of the internet. Thanks to Web 2.0 technology I was able to find an advert on the post and i applied and taken. I am now able to do more for women and young girls in Puntland, Somalia such as raising awareness about harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM), early marriages and SGBV. Web 2.0 has enabled us to link women in Somalia with those in the Diaspora better and achieve more for example on the current drought. Also we have been able to link, interact and learn from other women in similar contexts in Africa (Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Sudan) on the collection of best practices related to culturally justified acts of violence or culture-based violence. We have been able to learn how other similar cultures have advanced women and girl’s education in complex emergencies and we have joined Web2forDev D-group as members.

Finally, war-torn countries such as Somalia benefit enormously from Web 2.0 where it is becomes possible to do participatory e-learning and many universities in Somalia use this form of education. At the Ministry of Education we advocate for the use of the Internet and especially for Web 2.0 applications because they are more collaborative and user-friendly. We are currently training some 30 female education scholarship winners to use Web 2.0 applications so that they stay updated on each other’s progress, challenges and updates. I think that Web 2.0 is a great tool to use for the empowerment of girls especially in the context of education in complex emergencies. It creates more confidence in girls because girls get to speak up for themselves and receive positive comments or feedback from readers of their stories and blogs. These 30 girls will be able to inspire others to do the same as they did, i.e. others to compete and apply for the girls’ education scholarships and network with others as well share their own visions for a better tomorrow. The future is bright. The future is Puntland.

Sahro Ahmed Koshin
Garowe, Puntland, Somalia

Comments

MaDube's picture

Inspiring

I am happy to hear a voice of hope and positive outlook coming from Somalia. You are doing great work and yes it can only be done a mile at a time. Our hope, as we watch you soldier on is that you continue to have progress in your work and that many more people may benefit from your work to build a better Somalia.

Best,
MaDube

Stella Paul's picture

Good luck

Dear Sahro

Its challenging enough to survive in a war torn country. And to try to restoring it is a gigantic task. I loved what you wrote in 'about me' section: it may not happen in our lifetime, but you will do your bit. That's the spirit! Web 2.0 has been here for a while and wont transform our world overnight But if used with a pragmatic way, it can keep the flow of change steady. As you do that, I wish you luck!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

sarahmol's picture

Dear Sahro, Your inspiring

Dear Sahro,

Your inspiring story really tells the power of Web 2.0 and the ways that women can be empowered and connected by new media and technology. You make a great point when you talk about the benefits of Web 2.0 in unsafe contexts and how Web 2.0 has helped uncover solutions through communication with people and groups around the world that had previously been near impossible. It sounds like you are doing great work for your community and women in Somalia. Keep up the good work!

Best,
Sarah

cate morriss's picture

Puntland Inspired!

It is wonderful to hear abut the ways that Web 2 is already empowering women in Puntland, and even better to hear such passion and vision for the future from you. Sahro - maybe when writing a short piece like this it might be an idea for the story to give a few less examples though, and then really get some focus into maybe a couple. For example I would love to have heard more on how women are achieving during drought - the small reference in the article leaves me a bit unsure of how Web 2 is helping women in this. But hey- how great you have so many things to tell us. Well done :)

Cate

foxyhedgehog's picture

Crossing boundaries

Sahro, it's great to hear about the work you're doing with the help of web 2.0. I especially liked how you make the point that the web can cross boundaries and borders, bringing news to girls who can't travel easily and making education possible in all areas. I thought your point about the ways the web allows groups to continue being in touch and supporting each other virtually was important as well. Like Cate Morriss, I wondered how the web helped women during the drought. Your examples are so interesting that it made me want to know more specifics, which I know is hard to do in 500 words! It was good to hear this news from Puntland and I look forward to hearing more.

Sahro's picture

Thank you Foxy

Really appreciate it!

Sahro

WorldPulse Community Advisory Board Member
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