Our new documentary follows five Somalis doing amazing things to make the country safer and more prosperous
Somalia is a land of beautiful scenery and talented people, but both are overshadowed by the terrible challenges faced here everyday, leaving a one-sided picture of the country.
We wanted to bring these people and places out of the shadows and to tell stories that show the other side of Somalia — stories of women police and women activists instead of insecurity and violence; stories of tourist spots instead of conflict zones and of natural beauty instead of natural disasters.
So we commissioned two of Somalia’s finest filmmakers, Moulid Hujale and Said Fadhaye, to cross the country looking for inspiration. They came up with something wonderful and you can see the results in the movie above, which follows five Somalis as they use their talents and passion to make Somalia safer and more prosperous.
Samira — an officer who never thought she’d join the Somali Police Force
Samira grew up in Norway. She’d always dreamed of becoming a police officer but never imagined she would return to Somalia to do it.
Now she works hard to keep people safe and make sure citizens can enjoy swift, impartial justice.
“When I wear the police uniform, I feel a big responsibly on my shoulders,” says Samira. But every morning when she goes to work and sees businesses open and children going to school safely, she feels very proud, too
Muhiadin Mustaf Mohamed — a Somali voice singing for peace
Muhiadin’s songs capture the sadness and the joy of Somalia, and he’s seen plenty of both in this decades of music making.
He remembers when it was too dangerous even to leave the house, and more recent days when you can gather with friends and family on the beach.
“This is my gun,” he says, pointing to his guitar. “I like to raise awareness … so we can live together in peace.”
Kholwa — a refugee who came back to help IDPs in her home country
Driven by a passion to make Somalia safer place for women and children, Khowla runs one of the most successful dispute resolution centres in Somalia.
Kholwa herself was a refugee, but after graduating from university in Kenya she returned to Somalia to work in camps for people displaced by conflict and drought.
Here she saw the scale of the difficulties facing women and children and decided that she would do everything she could to make a difference.
Abdifatah — a young man cleaning up the country one beach and one market at a time
Abdifatah is passionate about the environment and believes in the power of youth.
That’s why he founded Greenwatch Trust. His network of over 100 young volunteers across Somalia runs clean ups, plants trees in public places and visits schools to teach children how to care for their environment and why it’s important.
“If we join hands… we can enjoy the blessings and prosperity of our land,” he says.
Mohamud Mohamed Dirie — on a mission to show the world the positive side of Somalia
After years abroad, Mohamud returned to the coastal town of Eyl and set up a museum to teach people about Somalia’s history and natural environment. He also runs free tours of the local area so visitors miss none of its wild beauty.
He aims to inspire more Somalis to move back and rebuild their homeland. “When they come back home and see how peaceful the country is, the taste of the food and fresh air, they get excited about it.”
Five very different people doing very different things, but all united by talent, enthusiasm and a desire to see a peaceful Somalia.
Here at UNDP Somalia we share that vision and are committed to helping the government and community based organisations work on conflict reconciliation, federalism and peace building. You can see some of our work here:
Support to women police: https://youtu.be/DfifgGooMvI
Bursaries for student lawyers:https://undpsom.medium.com/women-lawyers-make-puntland-safer-for-all-736c8d4af745
Legal aid for disadvantaged groups: https://undpsom.medium.com/age-is-no-bar-to-the-passing-the-bar-2c0826614405
Dispute resolution: https://undpsom.medium.com/sometimes-it-helps-to-talk-a86615f47636