As a youth organization, Bareedo Platform marks International Youth Day each year on the 12th of August and celebrates the contribution that young people make in social and public matters in Somalia. In this year and third year in row, Bareedo is going to commemorate the #IYD2022 virtually and present to you a handful youth members who contributed to the society.

This is a great time to celebrate and appreciate some youth members who actively contributed to matters that important for the community and also become a role model for other peers to do same. In this moment, Bareedo is going to empower young people to participate in public life so that they are prepared and equipped to contribute to society’s development.

It’s time to celebrate International Youth Day!

For information on the theme of International Youth Day 2022 keep an eye on the Bareedo’s website and social media platforms for updates. You can also send more to our email info@bareedo.org

Sharmarke Yusuf is an International Rotary peace fellow, for his extensive experience in Peace and development and had 10-week session of field study in Makerere University at Rotary Peace Center for gaining knowledge through examine new approaches of peace building and conflict transformation, following by application of leadership skills.

The Peace fellow returned to Somalia in his community for implementation of social change through guidance and mentorship professionals in the field.

Yusuf’s social change initiatives will engage youth in his communities to empower them and transform as a positive force of transformation in their communities through communication and thinking skills (TOCfE) positive peace education, employability skills and community volunteer activities. Yusuf is using a theory of constrain to change negative behavior, the TOC theory is originated by Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt (1947-2011)” he was an author and a business management guru.  The theory of constrain is a set of thinking processes along with common sense methodologies used to logically identify and overcome key limitations in creating favorable change and that allows for youth to think critically and make positive, responsible decisions.

The initiates will be in class training, practical sessions followed by community volunteer activities where the young people integrate with their communities to carryout public and common good activities.

If you want to join the training sessions, send an email to Yusuf: sharmake@bareedo.org / sharmuu55@gmail.com

Bareedo Platform facilitated Right to information and protection of vulnerable groups – Remote training units for 34 journalists from different media outlets in Puntland, mainly those based in Garowe, the capital city of Puntland state in Somalia.  

The training was funded through partnership between Puntland Media Co. and Caritas Somalia in collaboration with the School of Journalism of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy. Perigeo NGO and Itstime Research Center of the Catholic University were consultant partners of the project.

The 5-day training was conducted 34 (M: 21 F: 13) journalists, editors and other media personnel from key media outlets in Puntland, mainly those based in Garowe, the capital of Puntland in five different days from May 29, 2022 to June 11, 2022.

Trainers; a media training expert and a digital security expert delivered training sessions by using their own experiences and lessons and knowledge contents extracted from 5 videos previously recorded and shared by the School of Journalism of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy. And they covered the following topics or lessons during the five days training:-

Day 1Training Unit 1: Freedom of speech, human rights

  1. Freedom of expression is an increasingly rare commodity.
  2. Why it is necessary to defend it in the world and how it is possible to do so, considering the various national sensitivities.
  3. National and international laws on freedom of expression and international charters.
  4. The United Nations: origin, declarations, laws, agencies, advocacy activities.
  5. International human rights laws: human rights defenders, agencies and NGOs for human rights defenders.
  6. National legal frameworks demonstrating the freedom of information, freedom of speech, the freedom of media/press; looking at Puntland Media Act.

Day 2Training Unit 2: Freedom of the press, fighting censorship

  1. How to practice journalism without running into the mesh of censorship and how to resist self-censorship.
  2. Writing techniques for journalists, associations for the defence of information rights.
  3. How the international judicial system works in cases of arrest or criminal conviction, which international lawyers to appeal to.

Day 3Training Unit 3: Information and misinformation

  1. Some call it fake news but it is misinformation.
  2. Use factual truth to draw attention to unverified details.
  3. How to recognize misinformation content, how to dodge it, how to organize debunking.
  4. Social media and websites: the world’s largest debunking sites and the most effective projects in progress.
  5. Practical demonstration by looking at use of the following fact-checking tools
  6. Fact Check Explorer 
  7. InVid plugin
  8. YouTube Metadata
  9. Pimeyes
  10. Google Images
  11. Google Earth
  12. SunCalc i
  13. AccountAnalysis.app
  14. Tinfoleak
  15. Centralops.net/co
  16. Who Posted What

Day 4Training Unit 4: Protecting data: protect yourself and others

  1. Protecting sources today means knowing how to protect your computer data.
  2. Alternative and protected browsing techniques, password, double verification, Osint.
  3. How to manage and protect your social media, smartphone apps to use and set up security and privacy set ups in computers and other equipment.
  4. Practical demonstration by the participants to evaluate the security vulnerabilities of their digital equipment and social media accounts.
  5. Practical demonstration by the participants to evaluate security and privacy set up of their Android mobiles and windows computers
  6. Discussion on how to deal with online harassment and abuse as well as recovering or claiming back blocked online accounts.

Day 5Training Unit 5: Dialogue with minorities

  1. Definition of vulnerable and marginalized groups in Somalia
  2. At the basis of a peaceful society lies coexistence, in constructive dialogue with minorities. Acceptance of the other is necessary for peaceful coexistence.
  3. Examples and practices of coexistence and active laws in the world to guarantee and promote it.
  4. How to deal with a reportage on the themes of coexistence, religious dialogue and intercultural differences: techniques and methods.

The training was delivered successfully and met its intended objectives. 34 journalists and media workers from the key media outlets in Puntland improved their understanding of the international and national laws on freedom of expression, freedom of press and human rights and how to effectively address censorship and safety problems. Journalists gained capacity and skills to use the existing digital tools to counter misinformation, disinformation, fake news and unreliable contents. They received digital security knowledge and use of the relevant digital tools to defeat the growing digital threats and do their vital work safely and effectively and make their families and their sources considerably more secure. Additionally, journalists understood their role in protection of the vulnerable groups in their reporting.

The local TVs such as Puntland TV, MMTV, Universal TV and Horseed Media reported the training sessions and what the journalists learned from each session and how will these help them improve the issue of freedom of the press and the protection and protection of journalists in Puntland, Somalia.

The participants of the training appreciated the School of Journalism of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart and Caritas Somalia for this useful training, and also Bareedo Platform for facilitating the training sessions. They requested similar and continuation of such trainings and capacity building opportunities in the future.

-END-

Despite years of anarchy, Somalia has a successful ICT sector, providing one of the most cost-effective voice and data service in Africa. More than 2 million people make their way into the internet and the onset of COVID-19 pandemic and measures imposed to contain the spread of the pandemic has exacerbated the use of the Internet. The COVID-19 crisis has also brought new needs for digitalization of public and private services to the citizens. With increasing availability and quality of internet connectivity as well as new communication technologies in Somalia, private sector has been moving into the digital and embraces new digital services every-day. Many services are available online today such money transfers, transportation, food delivery and shopping.

With realization of fast growing Internet, digital information technology and Somalia has the cheapest data in Africa where 1GB of data costs $0.55 on average, ranked top seven in the world. Mobile money is the primary access point to financial services in Somalia where 73% of the population over the age of 16 use mobile money services according to the World Bank Report in 2017. With all these developments, Somalia ranks 191th worldwide in adoption of the e-government system according to a recent survey published by the United Nations in 2020.

More and more often, people see no reason why public services should be paper-based and that government does not take advantage of growing Internet connectivity and new technologies to transform its public services. Despite of development of first ICT Policy and Strategy 2019-2024 to facilitate Somalia’s digital transformation, local authorities still rely on legacy systems in a time of 89% of the people would like to see digitization of government services. Due to limited advocacy and concentration, the adoption of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to improve better delivery of government services to citizens is the least progressive area, and there’s little chance of meeting ambitions laid out in the country’s ICT Policy and Strategy.

With support of Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), Bareedo Platform organises a roundtable discussion for Mogadishu Municipality’s officials, commissioners of Mogadishu’s districts, academia, media and other important stakeholders in Mogadishu, Somalia. The main objective of this discussion is to advocate and push for Mogadishu Municipality to adopt e-governance practices and use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to improve better delivery of government services to citizens, empower citizens through access to information, and improve interactions between citizens and public officials.

Mohamed Abokor, Director of Bareedo Platform says “There is no excuse and hesitation to stay at paper-based era while we have a good Internet connection and that 80% of our population has mobile phones. We need to come up something that can pave a way to the adoption of e-governance practices in Mogadishu”

In this discussion meeting, officials will know more about e-government concept and also examples of cities that successfully adopted e-governance. And after, they will have an open discussion focusing on adopting e-governance system at Mogadishu Municipality, how to be adopted and implemented the digitization of public services and the challenges surrounding to the process. The discussion is also expected to address the challenges and barriers that residents and Mogadishu Municipality encounter on the process of effective and efficient service delivery in the face of continued insecurity and political instability weights particular to Mogadishu.

At end of the meeting, Bareedo Platform will produce a detailed report covering entire discussion and hope that this will add weight on ongoing efforts to encourage government to digitize its services.

Somalia has a regularly faced food crises since the climate change had affected seasonal rain and the lifestyle of the nomadic people; analyzing the root causes of the regular food crises based on hypotheses and assumptions may we come up with the following issues; Long outstanding armed conflicts and lack of functional government institutions including social support systems.

Climate change – the developed countries and industrials production had a negative impact on climate change that has caused droughts and famine where the expected rainfall never comes into the reality.

Here is why Somalia’s food crisis is getting worse and the country is facing a widespread famine because of the Ukraine conflicts, Somalia has been in conflicts, droughts, and poor lifestyle for so many years but this time is getting worse because the country has been survived depending on Aid food while has a poverty rate of 73% according to UNDP statistics;  food donations come from International community efforts and mainly from Ukraine but now as a result of the war on Ukraine no shipments is expected to come from Ukraine as the ports are closed, here is the Question where the people who depend on food aid will access food? The number who depend on food aid will go beyond half of Somalia’s population who lived in the country? 73% of the population who are under the poverty line can’t afford to get food hence the prices rapidly doubled.

Also because Ukraine conflicts Somalia is no more a priority to receive support and donations hence the international support mainly from EU countries has needed to place into the Ukraine issue;

Therefore, as Somalia has been majorly depending on food donations and funding from the international communities through aid organizations including the international and United nation’s organizations its becoming more challenge as another bigger crises come about in the world whereby international community are more focusing and placing resource in Ukraine conflicts and this will lead to widespread famine, hanger and raises internal conflicts and insecurity in the country; so far according to  UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs Somalia (UNCHA) that the required funding to Somalia only 3.2% for its humanitarian response received as the United Nations projects that 4.6 million people in Somalia will no access to enough food in mid of 2022; this indicates that negative impact on Ukraine conflict in Somalia and the aid funding is extremely delayed and may diverted in to the Ukraine as Ukraine requires massive attention from the international community and supports needed in Somalia is going to be forgetting.

However, the humanitarian crises and emergency situation in Ukraine can’t be overlooked and ignored but having one eye to see only one situation and forgetting others is outrageous, all humankind deserves to provide support when it’s needed, the attention is given in to Somalia and the lack of fund and aid to Somalia will lead widespread farming where millions of people will lose their life because of hunger and famine caused diseases, hence the greater of the international community are completely unaware of a horrible situation that Somali people are facing and the Ware of Ukraine doesn’t allow UN to send Aid food to Somalia as it had in previous years and through this way aid food is extremely decreased and the food in the country is extremal expensive where the majority of Somali community can’t afford daily meals.

In conclusion, to suggest assumption on untimely solution of the food scarcity, hunger and food crises in Somalia, we need to understand that more than 60% of Somalia papulations of nomadic pastoralism and engaged in livestock in a nomadic way of life and their survivor is depending on traditional raining seasons, and adapted to a nomadic way of life, limited feed resources and intermittent water supply. The pastoral system is confined to the drier areas of the coastal plains and mountain valleys over most of the country where the principal if not the only feed resource is rangeland grazing and browse although crop residues are also an important component of total feed in some areas.

The words rob raac in Somali translate to rain follower. It is a term commonly used in pastoralist circles that refers to the lifestyle of moving from one place to another with one’s livestock in search of pasture and water. This lifestyle is shared by many pastoralists, who make up 60 percent of Somalia’s population. Failed consecutive rains in the country, though, have prolonged a debilitating dry spell, grinding to a halt a way of life for many nomads who roam the lands, and now the conflict in Ukraine worsening the situations; Without anticipatory preventive approaches, these factors are likely to exacerbate existing vulnerabilities and reduce the people’s livelihood options, economics and increase the extreme poverty in the country.

Therefore, the agro-pastoralists idea for forming a small scale sheep and goats farming is to reduce the pastoral community’s vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change and tackle food crises  in Somalia, and by changing the life style of nomadic pastoralism whereby the sheep and goats in Somalia are kept under traditional extensive systems, so to secure food production and reduce the hunger and adapt the climate change, the initiative if performing small scale farming for livestock (Goats and Ships, plus camels), where Somali nomadic people an 60% of the population who depending on livestock to adapt agro-pastoralists approach and be a friend and create opportunity with food crises an world conflict, and equip with knowledge of a better management and access to water resources for securing enough food production.

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Sharmarke Yusuf
Peace and Development Activists
Rotary Peace fellow

Email: sharmuu55@gmail.com