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Voices of children: Growing up in Somalia

UNICEF Somalia/2012/Dhayi
© UNICEF Somalia/2012/Dhayi

In the central and southern parts of the country, an entire generation of Somali children has grown up without knowing peace or stability. Even in the relatively more peaceful northern regions of Somaliland and Puntland, where development efforts continue, children and women still face the prospect of a life filled with enormous challenge – long periods of drought, difficulty accessing adequate food, lack of clean water and poor access to basic social services.

Somali children tell their stories describing how it is like to be growing up in Somalia.

Somali NGOs celebrate World Children's Day with displaced children in Mogadishu and Afgoye
20 November 2017 - World Children’s Day celebrates children and also mobilizes children’s voices in support of child rights everywhere.

Children living in displaced camps talk about their lives
23 October 2017 - More than a million people have been forced to leave their homes due to drought and conflict this year. Two thirds of them are children under 18. These children are often sick and malnourished and have no chance of an education.

Thanking our Young Change Makers
August 2016 - It may sound strange – but being a young person in Somalia today is a golden opportunity. It is the youth who have the chance to re-build a country which suffered years of war....

Somali Youth Participation in the First World Humanitarian Summit
2 June 2016 - Somali activist, Sagal Mohamed Ashour, took part in the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul from 23 - 24 May 2016 along with two colleagues and wrote a blog about the challenges young Somali men and women face today.

Through the Eyes of Somali Children
February 2016 - Nearly 1000 Somali children took part in a two year UNICEF photoclub project in Hargeisa, Garowe and Mogadishu learning to take photographs and snapping thousands of images on various subjects which have been shown in London, Brussels, Nai

A displaced family in Baidoa talk about their lives
February 2016 - This family - headed by Habiba Abdullahi Hussein - have been living in Gadid camp for the internally displaced in southern Somalia, for several years. They moved here after Habiba's husband was killed.

Through the Eyes of Somali Youth Exhibition opens in Nairobi
September 2015 - Visitors to a powerful exhibition of photographs at the United Nations headquarters in Africa are being given a unique insight into what life looks like from a Somali child’s point of view.

Somali youth use video to tell the authorities about community problems
September 2015: Earlier this year 120 students from across Somaliland made one minute, personal videos about their local communities and improvements they wanted in areas such as health, education, water and sanitation and the environment.

Photographs by Somali children provide unique insight into their priorities
August 2015: UNICEF Somalia displayed a fascinating exhibition of photographs by children at the renowned 8th Hargeysa International Book Fair (HIBF) held in Somaliland from 1 – 6 August 2015.

Somali children snap thousands of extraordinary photos of their lives with UNICEF support
16 February 2015 - Over the past two years UNICEF has provided children and youth with a unique opportunity to provide a fascinating insight into their lives. Training sessions were held in Hargeisa, Garowe and Mogadishu with a professional photographer.

Children in Armed Conflict – stories of trauma and rehabilitation
14 July 2015 - Khadra was at a loss when her 14-year old nephew Bashir disappeared one day. As the family searched tirelessly for the boy, Khadra was inconsolable.

Pictorial: Life through the eyes of a Somali child
3 December 2013 - UNICEF Somalia organized for 400 Somali primary school children to be trained in photography and provided the cameras. In a short space of time they had taken more than 10,000 photos on various themes.

Osman, 9, Bossaso
19 July 2012 – A year after the declaration of famine in the Horn of Africa, 9-year-old Osman Adan Mohamed still faces daily hardship.

Abderahman, 13, Bossaso
30 March 2011: My name is Abderahman Hussein Morsal. I am 13 years old and attend second grade in Shabelle IDP school in Bossaso town [coastal town in Puntland, northeast Somalia].

Abdelwahab, 13, Bossaso
30 March 2011: My name is Abdelwahab Abubakr. I am 13 years old and I live in Shabelle camp for displaced people in Bossaso [coastal town in Puntland, northeast Somalia]. I live in a hut with my mother, my four sisters and two brothers.

Saido, 17, Bacaado
29 March 2011 – My name is Saido Ismael Ahmed, and I live in Bacaado, a rural area which is a long walk from Hargeisa. I am 17 years old, I am one of nine children in my family, five of my brothers and sisters are older than me and three are younger.

Kafiya, 16, Galkayo
9 March 2011: “My name is Kafiya Hassan Mohamed, and I live in Galkayo [northeast Somalia]. I am 16 years old, I have six sisters and three brothers.

Nimo, 9, Hargeisa
March 2011: “My Name is Nimo Mohamed, and I live in Sheikh Nur in Hargeisa [town]. I am 9 years old and have one older brother.

Hawa, 17, Galkayo
1 March 2011 – “My name is Hawa Hersi Mahamoud and I live in Halabooqad [IDP] settlement in Galkayo [Northeast Somalia]. I am 17 and I was born in a village called Harfo [90 km from Galkayo].

Children attending school for the first time talk about their hopes for the future
9 September 2013 - Somalia has launched the Go 2 School Initiative, an ambitious effort to get one million additional children to school following decades of conflict and continued displacement.

UNICEF support offers hope for children with disabilities in Somaliland
20 June 2013 - Children with disabilities in Somaliland often suffer discrimination and ill treatment mainly due to ignorance about their condition. One report suggested that nearly half of households surveyed had at least one member with a disability.

Somali teenager attends the Pan African Forum on Children to highlight the problems of children in her country
November 2012 - Thirteen year old Habibo Omar Jama, who lives in displaced person’s camp in Bossasso, North East Somalia, was one of 23 children representing African children at a high level Pan African Forum on Children in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia this week

UNICEF Radio youth reporter interviews 16-year-old Hassan Abdi Elmi about life in a Somali refugee camp...
NEW YORK, USA, 18 December 2009: This year marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In honour of the anniversary, UNICEF Radio youth reporter Mostafa Mohamed Abdurrahman spoke with Hassan Abdi Elmi, 16,...



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