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Somalia is on the path to recovery after decades of turmoil and violence. Its youth are playing a crucial role in this process.

Some are driven by their own personal stories and challenges they have faced. Others are inspired by their experiences, like Fadumo Ali Iman, who was motivated to co-found a non-governmental organisation (NGO) to support young girls in her hometown of Baidoa, located in the South West State of Somalia.

Her mission is to empower young girls with the tools they need to create brighter futures for themselves.

The 27-year-old’s commitment to safeguarding and empowering women was ignited during her employment with an international NGO, INTERSOS, from 2013 to 2017.

“My journey of helping girls and protecting women and children from violence began at INTERSOS. I loved my job,” says Ms. Iman.

Driven by this fervour, in October 2019, alongside her friend Fartun Hassan Ali, she established the Somali Girls Rights Organisation (SGRO). Ms. Iman, now the Director of SGRO, pursued her education at Salahu-diin Primary and Secondary School in Baidoa and later graduated from Bay University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in public health.

At the core of SGRO’s mission is advocacy for vulnerable young girls to access secondary and university education.

“Our efforts have borne fruit. Presently, we have successfully sponsored the enrolment of 48 girls in secondary schools. Furthermore, local institutions like Bay University and Gannany University have graciously admitted 21 girls free of charge,” Ms. Iman says.

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