Somaliland: Hargeisa - GCC youth kick off community service event
In their first community service event under the Global Citizen Corps (GCC), youngsters in Somaliland marked the Global Service Youth Day (GYSD) on April 21 in style by donating supplies worth $1000 USD to the Hargeisa mental hospital in a colorful event presided over by the Somaliland Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Mr. Ali Saeed Reigal.
The noble idea to contribute cash and in kind was muted by the youth themselves through the excellent supervision of the Somaliland National Youth Organization (SONYO). SONYO is a local partner for the USAID and Mercy Corps’ Somali Youth Leaders Initiative project that incorporates the GCC program in somaliland.
As is the norm with both the GYSD and the GCC program, both of which encourage youth to volunteer in community service events, the Hargeisa GCC youth decided to provide the much-needed supplies to patients at the hospital, which according to the administrators rarely receives any public attention let alone any donations.
The suppliers donated by the GCC youth included 100 kilograms of dates, packs of soft drinks, two dozen packs of skimmed milk and dozens of soaps, hair and body lotions as well as other essentials like nail cutters, combs and even clothes among others to the rundown mental facility. The hospital is holding nearly 100 male and female patients many of who seem to have been forgotten there by their relatives.
GCC Hargeisa Youth leader Mohamed Meygag who was also the master of ceremony for the event praised his peers for their compassion and selflessness and promised even more support from the youth in the near future.
“The culture of volunteering was not common among the youth in Somaliland. We are glad to have joined the GCC which requires of us to help our people. We have killed two birds with one stone today by undertaking our first of many upcoming community service events as well as celebrating the GYSD. It is so nice seeing the patients smile, we are really glad to make a difference however small,” Meygag said.
The government officials present at the fun-filled event could not hide their admiration for the GCC youth gesture to remember the mentally ill patients.
“I am extremely touched by the kind gesture of the youth who contributed money without anyone telling them to. I just want to assure the youth that my office will always be there to support them in whatever they need. Let me take this opportunity to thank USAID and Mercy Corps for their support,” Guest of honor Minister Reigal said.
Speaking in fluent English, one of the patients had all but praise for the youth.
“Thank you Mr. My name is Abdullahi. I am good and very, very happy. What is your name? You are good people because you give us food, clothes and even football to play. God bless you,” he said while busy drinking a canned juice and looking smart from a new shirt and trouser that he received as part of the donations brought by the GCC Hargeisa youth.