Julie's blog

Service with compassion

A generous heart, soft spoken, hardworking and a life full of service with compassion are what describes Hussein Hassan a Senior Health Programme Officer working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Somalia. At 27 Hussein has always placed the lives of vulnerable populations including migrants living within the Internally Displaced Settlements (IDPs) in Garowe, Puntland a reason to smile and hope for a brighter future ahead.

 

Amal Mohammud’s Story

Recurrent conflict and a collapsed justice system have left many Somalis mentally scarred from cycles of aggression and violence. To encourage social cohesion, IOM’s Transition Initiatives for Stabilization programme is training 40,000 people on forgiveness, different approaches to conflict transformation and breaking cycles of revenge.

 

Volunteering for Change

For over two decades, chaos violence and deserted streets have defined Somalia’s capital. But now a different story is emerging. A new government has been elected, construction is booming, and international flights are bringing back international business.

 

Music Makes a Comeback

Born into turbulent warfare, and surrounded by a collapsed education and health system, young Somalis are often referred to as the “lost generation.” Abandonment and a lack of economic opportunity have resulted in many youth becoming detached from society or being recruited into militia and piracy. The repercussions are distressing; many become withdrawn and have difficulty in forging social bonds. To mitigate this, IOM’s Transition Initiatives for Stabilization programme is empowering and re-engaging disconnected youth through art and music by providing a platform to spread healing and social reconciliation messages. A talent competition called “Somali Idol” was relaunched in 2013 with over 500 aspiring singers, poets and performers auditioning for a place in the finals.

 

The Next Generation of Aid Workers Gets Hands-on in Ghana

Since 2010, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) office in Ghana has welcomed students for an eight-week summer practicum, bridging the gap between the academic and professional divide. Forged as part of a partnership with Syracuse University, located in upstate New York, USA, this study abroad programme allows the next generation of aid workers to take classroom principles and apply them in a field setting, with guidance from seasoned IOM staff members. “This internship programme is a win-win for IOM in Ghana and the Syracuse students. Their remarkable enthusiasm and knowledge leave a lasting impact,” according to Dyane Epstein, Chief of Mission, IOM Ghana.