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Somali region’s only female village chief brings a school to the community

UNICEF Somalia/2017/Yahye Abdi Ibrahim
© UNICEF Somalia/2017/Yahye Abdi Ibrahim
A UNICEF delegation visit the USAID-funded school set up with the support of Gedo region’s only female village chief.

By Hema Vinod and Yahye Abdi Ibrahim, Education Specialists, UNICEF Somalia

Kaxarey village, Gedo, southern Somalia, 19 July 2017 - Abdio Aber Ali is a determined woman who is not used to taking no for an answer. She is the only female village chief in the whole of Gedo region and quite possibly beyond. Despite facing tough opposition, she was unanimously selected as the leader of her village known as Kaxarey. She puts her success down to her strong personality and previous experience leading women’s groups and supporting various social activities. 

And she showed the same determination when it came to getting a school built in the village which is just south of Dollow town. Three years ago she rallied the community together to build a school under a tree and pay the teachers for a year while UNICEF supplied books and basic equipment.

UNICEF Somalia/2017/Yahye Abdi Ibrahim
© UNICEF Somalia/2017/Yahye Abdi Ibrahim
Abdio Aber Ali (left) with the co-author of this story, Hema Vinod, a UNICEF Somalia Education Specialist.

More recently, UNICEF has built a new school in the village in collaboration with Ministry of Education and Higher Education as part of the USAID-funded Alternative Basic Education Programme, with two classrooms, gender-specific bathrooms, handwashing facilities, and a playground. Funded by the United States Agency for International Development, the project provides flexible learning opportunities to children who have never been to school.

Local parents and children are thrilled that they now have such well-functioning education facilities, bringing education to 105 students aged four to 16.



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