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.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Challenges and Solutions to Creating Change.