Co-creating New Value for Communities
Since 2011, ARC has been working with partners inside and outside Somalia as one of the only international humanitarian organizations in the country. Prolonged years of violence in the country have disrupted lives and shattered community networks, resulting in increased criminality and collapsed systems. This is particularly true for youth, who make up a large percentage of the population and who are often targeted by armed groups for recruitment.
ARC provides services to help rebuild health, water, protection, shelter, and economic systems in Somalia. We support both camps with internally displaced people and communities around the country. We’re aiming high, working alongside the country’s private sector to create 50,000 jobs for youth in the coming years. Through collaboration, innovation, and provision of lifesaving services, we are bringing new and previously unimagined value to the country.
Somalia now has the second highest child mortality rate in the world. We are fighting against this trend, bringing access to primary and reproductive health services focused specifically on mothers and children. We help to prevent and treat the childhood illnesses that are too often the leading causes of high infant mortality rates. And, we provide the clean water, reliable sanitation systems, and hygiene education that keeps communities healthy.
Having a roof over one’s head and a place to call home are often things we take for granted. Throughout Somalia, we work to provide shelter and vital household items for people who have none. We also use the construction of shelters as a training opportunity for community members and an employment program for carpenters and masons looking for work.
In Somalia, unemployment and lack of livelihood opportunities are widespread. Rebuilding these opportunities is the key to sustainable economic growth and will help pave the path toward recovery. We take a holistic approach to improving economic opportunities, with the ultimate goal of generating 50,000 jobs for Somalis. We are co-creating with local leaders, government agencies, and businesses, providing microfinance training and support and designing vocational training schools.
For communities to develop and economic recovery to take hold, people need to feel safe and protected in their environments. 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
In 2011, ARC responded to the famine in Somalia not through typical aid mechanisms but through a previously untapped resource: the vast global Somali Diaspora. The initiative, called I Am A Star, launched a worldwide collaborative effort to help Somalis living everywhere from Stockholm, Sweden to Minneapolis, Minnesota connect to and help communities in their home country. ARC continues to provide this platform, empowering Somalis to work together to make change.
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.
Uniting under the name Love Army for Somalia, they had a single goal: send an outpouring of love and support to people suffering from drought and famine in Somalia.
This group – including actor Ben Stiller, YouTube stars Jerome Jarre and Casey Neistat, and Mexican social media celebrity Juanpa – engaged their followers and audiences. They created YouTube videos about what was happening in Somalia. They gave them a way to help. And within just a few days, they had raised over $2 million dollars for people in Somalia. Love Army for Somalia was born.
At American Refugee Committee we believe in an abundant world where a bounty of resources exists to address the toughest problems. When Love Army asked us to help them put their goodwill to action in Somalia - we were on board.
Right now, there’s a terrible drought happening in Somalia. Thousands of people have lost their livestock and any means to feed families. People are in desperate need for clean water and food relief to survive what some say has been the longest dry spell in the area since the 1970s. Families need help – and they need it soon.
ARC is one of the few international organizations responding to the drought. We’ve been providing clean water, emergency health services, anddistributing food to families who are the worst affected. But conditions haven't improved. And there aren’t enough people out there helping.
That’s why the support from Love Army came at such a critical time. Their community of support has helped us make a bigger impact – in a shorter time – than we ever thought possible.
Since March, Love Army has mobilized their 1 Billion+ followers to send an outpouring of love and support to people struggling in Somalia. 95,000 people have joined the movement, and gifts as small as $5 added up to a staggering $2.7 million! As a result, we've been able to deliver 6 million liters of clean water and 1,300 tons of food to the hardest hit Somali families.
But they wanted to do even more to not just help people survive but to give them a boost to thrive....
That brings us to the morning of September 20 - with Jerome, Casey and Juanpa on the stage at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's GOALKEEPERS event in New York City. With incredibly generous support from The Gates and others, Love Army was able to raise another $1 Million in just a few hours.
BUT MOST AMAZINGLY? Those funds were wired directly to 1,000 families waiting in Somalia - families who've been suffering through the drought, losing livestock and struggling to even feed themselves. With funds transferred onto their mobile phones in the middle of the night, the families were able to use the money the very next day to purchase food and essentials. And then begin thinking about how they'll use the rest to take back control of their lives.
To LOVE ARMY worldwide!
To the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and everyone who gave on September 20th.
To Dahabshiil - for their partnership getting funds swiftly into the hands of families in-need.
To Turkish Airlines - for the numerous cargo flights chartered to Somalia to deliver nutritional supplements to malnourished children.
And to everyone who joined the movement and sent love and support to people in Somalia.
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