Somaliland: Canadian Public Diplomacy to Empower Regional Education

Hargeisa (HAN) November 5, 2014 – Public Diplomacy and to Empower Regional Educations and Training Events News. On Saturday, November 1st, Friends of University of Hargeisa School of Social Work Committee in partnership with Carleton University School of Social Work hosted their third annual fundraising dinner at Ron Kolbus Lakeside Gardens in Ottawa. The event was a huge success. It brought together many members of the Ottawa community, Carleton and University of Ottawa faculty, alumni and students.

The Canadian Friends of the University of Hargeisa School Social Work Committee was formed in 2008 to explore the idea of a Social Work program at the University of Hargeisa, located in the politically stable city of Hargeisa in Somaliland. The committee has worked since then to fund a Social Work program in Hargeisa, help develop its curriculum and provide much-needed materials and supplies such as books to establish a library for the program. In 2013, the first ever School of Social Work in Somaliland was established at the University of Hargeisa, opening its doors to 45 incoming students, including 22 young women. In October 2014, these students will continue into the second year of a four year training program.


University of Hargeisa School of Social Work: University of Hargeisa, School of Social Work

The fundraising dinner was a huge success, thanks to the hard work and dedication by the Friends of University of Hargeisa School Social Work committee members. Guests were treated to a night of delicious food, an interactive lesson on Somali traditional dance, wonderful spoken word poetry by two local artists and exciting silent auction items all in support of the new social work program at the University of Hargeisa.

Members of the committee shared their reflections of the work that has been done by the committee thus far, Omar Ugas, one of the co-founders of the Friends of University of Hargeisa School of Social Work Committee and a Mental Health Case Manager at the Pinecrest-Queensway Community Health Centre spoke about his motivations in establishing a school of social work at the University of Hargeisa. Omar’s speech was focussed on the history of the project, its aims, expectations and the importance of social services for people who experienced war and related trauma.”

Allan Moscovitch, a professor of social work at Carleton University and the Chair of the committee stated that “the experience the faculty, alumni and student volunteers have gained by building a program from the ground up is an invaluable learning opportunity and Carleton’s School of Social Work is richer for its participation in this effort.” It was a fabulous night to remember!
Photo and Sources: Hiiraan

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