Two US teenagers are working hard to raise funds and establish an online project to educate pupils in Somalia.
Bashir Warsame and Sahnun Mohamud, both of Somalian descent, have been raising funds and working hard to establish their "Wake Up Somalia" project: an online curriculum of reading writing, science and maths.
The teenagers’ parents were born in Somalia and, with many relatives still there, they have an affinity with the country despite never having visited it themselves. The education system in Somalia has been fragmented by civil war over the last two decades and they wanted to do something constructive to help change the fortunes of the country.
Sahnun said that they believe education is a valuable contribution to make as it is the "only long-term solution that's going to work."
Their vision is that their online curriculum will be flexible enough to enable classrooms to be set up in non-school building locations if required, to ensure the country’s children have access to education and are prevented from being recruited as soldiers.
The two have been raising funds for IT equipment to ship to selected Somalian schools. They envisage that each classroom will have a PC and a projector to share the online lessons with the pupils.
With the help of Free World U, a not for profit organisation that provides educational products in 96 countries, the project is now taking shape.
The project caught the organisation’s interest as it is new and innovative. Free World U’s founder, David Hall said that the missions of Free World U and Wake Up Somalia were very similar, which prompted the partnership. Free World U will contribute the teaching materials currently in English, for which Bashir and Sahnun will obtain Somali translations.
The project is scheduled to launch in 2011.