Nine-year-old Alma knows that knowledge is power; that is why she is studying hard at the newly opened SOS School in Hargeisa, capital of Somaliland. She hopes to become a teacher someday to enlighten her neighbours who believe that going to school is a waste of time.
Alma lives with her family in a two roomed house in Sheedaha, a poor area of Hargeisa. Unemployment is high and most children have never attended school or have dropped out due to school fees. Since 2009, Alma has been able to attend school with support from the SOS Family Strengthening Program. She is determined to change the negative outlook people in her community have towards education.
“I will study hard and become a teacher so I can educate my people in Sheedaha,” says Alma. “They need to be taught, to be exposed to different aspects of life. They need to change their mind-set and stop being ignorant to education.”
After her father died from throat cancer in 2007, Alma’s family was left without a provider. His savings from working at a local bakery did not last long and Alma’s mother was struggling to raise her five children.