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With challenges comes strength

My name is Somaliland

Ignorance and the “Will” (Action) to change are the major challenges we face in my communities. Poverty is widespread and access to clean and safe water remains a challenge. NGO’s has stepped in to help our government and the people; but with all the good work that they have been doing there came about negative outcomes as well. Communities are dependent on the aid and have lost local coping mechanism. Instead of being active members in their development many have chosen to become victims and want to be spoon feed. With all the challenges, barriers and hardships that lay ahead I know that future is bright. I live in a country that has seen and known challenges for years. Overcoming many while many still awaits.

Little is known about me - In a region not known for peace, prosperity, security and elections – I have come out and shown the world it is possible. I moved from a war-ravaged country to a rebuilding and re-developing one all on my own. Many in Africa know me as “Africa’s Best kept Secret” - I am Somaliland. In 1991 when the civil war in Somalia was at its peak the then North Eastern regions of Somalia decided to reclaim its independence as an independent country from the rest of Somalia. Since then while Somalia has been going through civil war and lawlessness we have been re-building our country from the bottom-up. This year we celebrated our 20 years of independence – 20 years of peace building, local government and parliamentary election, 2 presidential elections with the later showing the opposition winning, private sector boom and an economy that is progressing slowly. We are an example to prove that a grassroots approach to development is the way forward.

One way to see real change in my community and dealing with our challenges is to use the “Media”. With many being an Oral Society - a well planned media campaign using radio, posters and public lectures in schools, villages and Masjid’s can turn the people’s behavior and attitudes from waiting for help to working together to helping themselves. We have many local knowledge and resources. Its only when we realize and utilize them along with support from other sources will change be sustainable. Giving knowledge/information to people is not the end but when communities use it to action is when you see change.

Communities around the world have overcome challenges and Pluse Wire along with other online communities can help me track those stories. Reading through will give you ideas, strategies and hint‘s on what can be replicated. We can connect with individuals-experts and get videos, stories, documentaries which we can share with locals showing that it is possible. As an individual these platforms is evidence that one person that takes initiative can bring about change and makes me believe that I can do it.

Another of my favorite quotes is “If not You, then Who. If not Now, then When” – wise person.

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faridaY's picture

I enjoyed reading this and it

I enjoyed reading this and it is good to hear that, however slowly, real porgress towards peace is being made in grassroots communities in Somalia. Each of us indeed has the power to make a diffrence.

Sarvina's picture

Thanks so much for writing

Thanks so much for writing such as a powerful piece here! I do love reading this. You will be a good role model for Somalia women and girls to bring peace to your home country. Keep it up your good work!

Love,

Sarvina from Cambodia

Regards,

Sarvina from Cambodia
VOF 2011 Correspondent

sallyreb's picture

One Person Can Bring About Change

Zuhur,

I so enjoyed reading your essay! I have never heard of Somaliland, thank you for teaching me a bit about your nation.

I can see how PulseWire and other online communities can help you share stories and ideas. You, and others in Somaliland, have knowledge that can aid others who are taking a grassroots approach to development. You can also learn from others around the world. I would love to know more about current challenges to creating change in your community.

Thanks for sharing,
Sally

Sally Peters
~*~*~*~*~
Where I was born and where and how I have lived is unimportant. It is what I have done with where I have been that should be of interest. ~ Georgia O’Keeffe
~*~*~*~*~

Zuhur's picture

Apreciate it

Thank You all for the wonderful comments and encouragement. This is really appreciated.

Driven from Within

I did not know about Somaliland. I had no idea there was a community working so hard to overcome the challenges of war and poverty within the Somalia framework. I learned an important lesson today and I thank you for sharing your story with me. It is wonderful to be able to get on a blog and learn so much about the world around us. Your courage and your voice will serve your nation well! I hope you will continue to write to get the word out and help us learn more about the role of media in development in your world. Thanks so much!

Peace,

Denise

“Women have a special capacity to lead us to a more peaceful world with compassion, affection and kindness. And there is no more important time for that than this moment.” - Dalai Lama

mrbeckbeck's picture

Great

Great to hear from you, Zuhur! I appreciate hearing your ideas for how PulseWire and other online networks can help challenges be overcome. You are a true leader, and I look forward to seeing more of your work here.

Thanks,
Scott

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Manager

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