KT for Good: Woman shelters orphans, saves thousands from famine in Somalia
The Somali national said she wanted to present a kind of help that is sustainable and will empower children.
When famine hit her country in 2010, Zahra Hassan Farah could not stand idle watching children lose their lives.
"They are the future of our country and the only hope that will carry us forward," said Farah who hails from Somalia.
Providing food, water and clothes to orphans was the immediate aid she provided, yet it did not fulfil the complete purpose for her.
The Somali national said she wanted to present a kind of help that is sustainable and will empower children, especially orphans, to shape their own future. Her answer was a centre that teaches and nurtures orphans.
"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime," she quoted the famous proverb.
The famine that hit Somalia from 2010 to 2012 killed about 260,000 people - half of them were children under the age of five - in a crisis that was named the worst in 25 years, according to a 2013 report by the United Nations and the US-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network.
Farah got to work by contacting charity foundations, non-profit organisations and independent donors for support to purchase a land, start construction, and equip the centre with necessary books, furniture and educational material.
With direct support from the Emirates Red Crescent, the 'Khadija Foundation', a Somaliland-based NGO, came to life on over 100 hectares of land.
Going beyond its goals
Besides providing a home that nurtures and educates orphans, the foundation continued expanding to provide humanitarian support and emergency and disaster relief to disadvantaged communities in Somalia, in collaboration with the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, Emirates Red Crescent and Africa Educational Trust.
It also builds schools across the country, provides healthcare services and training to empower women, the youth and people of determination.
Until today, Khadija Foundation benefitted more than 14,000 orphans, empowered 75 children of determination and supported 732 disadvantaged families.
Since its inception, the foundation provided emergency assistance to over 32,000 families and supplied meals to over 200,000 displaced people affected by natural disasters, drought and conflict.
The foundation continues to build schools, with three already completed, to empower children to become active participants in Somalia's development and growth.
Its services have reached 32 villages across Somalia. These range from sustainable water infrastructure, schools and mosques to healthcare services and support for small enterprises to help families achieve financial independence.
Farah's work continues to demonstrate the impact one person can bring. She continues to collaborate with NGOs, including Allocation aux Adultes Handicapes to empower people of determination; Africa Educational Trust; and Emirates Red Crescent, besides other local educational initiatives and independent donors.
"For as long as I live, I will continue my journey of growing the foundation to give hope to my people for a better future," Farah added.
"Education is the greatest form of empowerment to enable youth to determine their own future in full confidence and independence."
HOW THE INITIATIVE WORKS
1-The Khadija Foundation partners with charities and donors to make a difference
2-It built a home that nurtures orphans, benefitting over 14,000 kids
3-It provides relief aid, helping over 32,000 families and feeding more than 200,000 people
4-It constructs schools across the country, with three already completed
5-Its services range from healthcare, water infrastructure, to supporting small enterprises
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