RESPONDING TO DROUGHT
Alight has been operating in the Somali region since 2010, providing critical support for displaced and marginalized communities through healthcare, education, protection, shelter, water and sanitation services.
Somalia is currently facing the worst drought in four decades, widely believed to be linked to climate change. The United Nations estimates that as the crisis escalates toward famine, 1.8 million Somali children under 5 will be acutely malnourished by July 2023. Somalia’s 2011 famine claimed over 260,000 lives, (50% of whom died before famine was officially declared) but after five failed rainy seasons, the situation is even more dire.
Over the past few years, Alight’s Somali Program has faced numerous challenges. But through it all, our teams have been there to help, doing the doable to protect the people we serve. Alight is currently raising funds for emergency food distribution, improving access to clean water, and providing shelter for Internally Displaced Populations (IDPs).
Co-creating New Value
Alight is on the ground in Somalia ready to respond to emergencies, from drought and floods to conflict driven displacement.
Our primary and reproductive health services focus extensively on mothers and children. We help to prevent and treat childhood illnesses that are too often leading causes of high infant mortality rates. We support the nutritional needs of children under five who are most vulnerable to malnutrition.
Alight provides clean water, reliable sanitation systems, and hygiene education that helps to keep communities healthy. We construct infrastructure and upgrade existing water facilities using solar energy to keep costs low and provide an eco-friendly alternative to fuel.
Building Back Better
Following decades of civil war in Somalia, Alight is working alongside local government, community leaders and development partners to pave the path toward recovery.
We provide primary and secondary education and offer a variety of extracurricular activities, support for parents and counseling to break down the barriers that prevent young people from attending school. Alight runs vocational training centers designed for youth and women to learn the skills necessary to earn a living. We also provide microfinance and grants to start businesses.
Alight invests in long term, durable housing solutions for displaced people. We co-create with the people we serve to build holistic communities for families that have lost their livelihoods due to climate change. In Kismayo, Alight constructed Midnimo, a first of its kind community for displaced people, complete with houses, a school, mosque, health facility and more. In Hargeisa, we’re replicating the model and making it bigger and better, to provide homes for even more displaced people.
For many in Somalia, years of displacement and insecurity have resulted in abusive, violent, and dangerous situations, especially for women and girls. We provide confidential, survivor-centered responses to gender-based violence, counseling victims of abuse and building relationships of mutual trust. We’re actively raising awareness of protection issues amongst internally displaced Somalis and helping communities take control of the solution.
As youth are the veins of life, the future stabilization, peace and recovery of Somalia is in the hands of those borne from within its conflict.”
– Adan Adar, Country Director
Somalia: Recent Information
How one teammate from Alight’s Somali Program is helping to stop the spread of the coronavirusHodan Abdi is a Protection Program Officer for our Somali Program. Originally from London, Hodan made a giant leap in 2019 to join the Alight team, leaving her work at a London-based homecare company to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a humanitarian. But when COVID-19 hit in March, Hodan’s work, like everyone else’s at Alight and around the world, had to evolve. Now, she’s on the frontlines of the fight to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping to reach some of the most remote and vulnerable communities. Read More
A team committed to standing by the people they serve...Over the past few years, Alight's Somali Program have faced down challenge after challenge. Extreme drought and famine impact displaced people disproportionately. Refugees returning after decades away face new hurdles as they struggle to build livelihood and community back home. Political instability is an ever-present threat. Recently, locusts and flooding threaten to destabilize farmers and communities. But through it all, our teams have been there to help, doing the doable to protect the people we serve. Read More
—Earlier this spring, a group of social media personalities, influencers, and athletes looked at what was happening in Somalia and wanted to do something to help. But right away they could see the scope of the crisis was far too big for their small group to make an impact. They needed to get a lot more people on their team. Read More