Connecting Somalia is a project by Africa Center Hong Kong with the aim to facilitate connectivity in Somali schools, encourage schools to enroll more female students, and inspire young girls to seek more educational opportunities.
Gender Gap in Education
Somalia has one of the lowest enrollment rates for school-aged children. According to UNICEF, only 30% of the country’s 5.8 million children attend primary schools, and of that, less than 40% are girls. This number drops further in secondary schools. Somalia’s isolation due to the lack of a government, a culture that favors boys’ education while coercing girls into FGM and early marriage, all contribute to the imbalance.
Increasing Girls’ School Participation
To encourage schools to enroll and retain more students, particularly girls and students from other socially excluded groups, Connecting Somalia donates computers to schools that have up to 60% girls to improve the quality of basic education, which also gives Somali girls the opportunity to share and exchange experience with other young girls around the world. We want this to impact how women’s roles are viewed in the larger system.
Connecting the Youth of Hong Kong and Somalia
After the Somali students received the donated laptops, we hope to launch a weekly Skype catch-up between the students of HK and Somalia to broaden each other’s perspectives.
This project is co-managed by Kamal Mohamed Sayid and Abdirahman Mahad, who both grew up in Somalia and have innate knowledge and experience about the culture and current situation of the country’s education. Kamal and Mahad’s in-depth understanding of Somalia, its culture and education system puts our organization in a unique position to effectively tackle a greater gender issue from the root and encourage schools and parents to take initiative and help change the current status quo that deprives young girls a chance for education and better lives.