“making people live with dignity, human values and dream” campaign across the globe by Ahlen Foundation

“Making people live with dignity, human values and dream” across the globe by AHLEN FOUNDATION. At Ahlen Foundation, the global vision is to build an inclusive young generation by pioneering a holistic model to address development challenges, and contribute to a collective aspirations. Central to its philosophy is the commitment to enhance the quality of life of people from marginalized and vulnerable communities, by empowering them and catalysing change through innovative and sustainable solutions. Its steadfast endeavour is to create replicable and scalable models of development through an integrated approach in the true Ahlen spirit of maximizing societal value for all, and making it a movement.

WWW.AHLEN FOUNDATION.ORG ...making people smile!
WWW.AHLEN FOUNDATION.ORG …making people smile!

Ahlen Foundation “Our vision …your dreams to come true”. The new world educational system recognizes that education is a universal right and hence enables students wherever they might be to have access to the means of innovation, creativity, acquisition of knowledge and expertise and the practice of responsibility. Through education, knowledge and research, Ahlen Foundation leads human, social, and economic development making people feel safe, secure and live with dignity at a very demanding international community! 

Ahlen Foundation – Migrants have taken over the Idomeni station platform and even the railway lines
When Ahlen Foundation arrived at the Diavata camp, it was late at night and pouring with rain. Apparently it had already been raining for a day before we arrived. The buildings were pretty run down but the roofs were watertight. The fence was secure so no migrant could enter or leave without the permission of the military. It contained 2,200 migrants. They did not seem overly happy.  This camp was certainly offering the migrants no way of taking advantage of any border opening, nor of finding work in the local area. For them, stuck in this camp, there was no future. If you treat migrants like this, they either get angry or they sink into an ‘acquired helplessness’ mode, where they becoming unwilling or unable to do anything for themselves.

Ahlen Foundation supports healthcare to refugees in Idomeni and across Greece
Ahlen Foundation supports healthcare to refugees in Idomeni and across Greece
Ahlen Foundation supports healthcare to refugees in Idomeni and across Greece
Ahlen Foundation supports healthcare to refugees in Idomeni and across Greece

The following morning in continuous heavy rain we arrived at Idomeni, a tiny farming hamlet, on the railway line into Macedonia. It is surrounded by huge flat fields as far as the eye can see, except that now, instead of corn there are tents, tents, and more tents.  Imagine Glastonbury festival in its worst year when it rained all weekend. But add to that – it is winter not summer: there is no music, there are thousands of children and babies, and the stay is long. Everyone, men, women and children are soaked to the skin; so is the bedding in their tents. The tents themselves are filling with water from underneath as well as on top, and the border is closed.
The camp is a dismal sight physically because it is under water and psychologically because it represents, to so many refugees, the end of the line. The border into Macedonia is closed and it does not look as if it will ever open again.  The infamous razor wire fence stretches as far as the eye can see in both directions. Some of the migrants have used the fence to string up their tents, and use it in a vain attempt to dry their clothes. The police guard the railway line.
Despite the appalling conditions everyone, especially the children seem surprisingly philosophical and even cheerful.

Ahlen Foundation supports healthcare to refugees in Idomeni and across Greece
Ahlen Foundation supports healthcare to refugees in Idomeni and across Greece


The government has said that it will empty Idomeni and move the migrants into more airfields and military bases, but it’s difficult to see how they will manage this. The migrants don’t want to stay if the border is not going to open, but equally, they will not want to be moved into closed camps. It will feel too much like where they have come from.

Ahlen Foundation – Education to leave no-one behind in Somalia
Being a child in Somalia can be hard – and thirteen year old Amal Ali Ibrahim’s story exemplifies that more than most. Having lost her mother at the tender age of three months, Amal has lived all her life with her father in Siliga internally displaced people’s (IDP) camp in Wadajir district.Amal Ali Ibrahim in Silliga IDP camp in Wadajir district, Somalia. Photo taken by Mohamed Abdulle Farayare for Concern Worldwide.

"Every girl has a dream to graduate from a university and help her family". These are Amal's own words. But against this backdrop, achieving such an ambition might have seemed an impossibly uphill battle - until recently
“Every girl has a dream to graduate from a university and help her family”. These are Amal’s own words. But against this backdrop, achieving such an ambition might have seemed an impossibly uphill battle – until recently


Over one million people live in camps for displaced people in Somalia. Life there is difficult – especially for children – with limited access to protection and basic services, and a high risk of disease. Acute malnutrition rates in IDP camps are reported to be consistently above the World Health Organisation’s threshold of 15 percent. According to the UN 215,000 children under five in Somalia are acutely malnourished, with a further 40,000 severely malnourished.

Acute social deprivation:
With Amal’s father unemployed and her siblings unable to get work, the family’s vulnerability is intensified by dependence on relatives and neighbours for survival. Access to educational opportunities for Amal has been limited. While Somalia once had a comprehensive education system that provided free and inclusive education from Kindergarten right through to university, years of instability have devastated the education system. The country now has one of the world’s lowest enrolment rates for children of primary school age. It’s estimated that at least one million children between six and thirteen years of age are currently out of school, and that Somalia is on track to have one of the highest proportions of disenfranchised youth globally.

Children of Peace programme:

Children listen to their colleague Amal Ali Ibrahim in a Concern-run, EU-funded accelerated basic education centre in Siliga IDP camp in Wadajir district, Somalia. Photo taken by Mohamed Abdulle Farayare for Concern Worldwide
Children listen to their colleague Amal Ali Ibrahim in a Concern-run, EU-funded accelerated basic education centre in Siliga IDP camp in Wadajir district, Somalia. Photo taken by Mohamed Abdulle Farayare for Concern Worldwide


Funded by the EU Children of Peace initiative, the Conrad Foundation, and a donation by a major donor, Concern Worldwide currently supports four Accelerated Basic Education (ABE)) centres in IDP camps on the outskirts of Mogadishu, and eight formal schools in Banadir (Mogadishu) and Lower Shabelle regions of southern Somalia. A total of 4,981 children currently benefit – including Amal, who matched selection criteria for the Siliga ABE centre, being from one of the poorest, most marginalised sectors of society.

Time to catch up:
Amal Ali Ibrahim is a participant in Concern’s accelerated basic education programme in Siliga IDP camp, Somalia. Photo taken by Mohamed Abdulle Farayare for Concern Worldwide.

Amal Ali Ibrahim is a participant in Concern's accelerated basic education programme in Siliga IDP camp, Somalia. Photo taken by Mohamed Abdulle Farayare for Concern Worldwide
Amal Ali Ibrahim is a participant in Concern’s accelerated basic education programme in Siliga IDP camp, Somalia. Photo taken by Mohamed Abdulle Farayare for Concern Worldwide


ABE centres are geared specifically to the needs of children from displaced families, affording children like Amal an opportunity to “catch-up” in terms of core literacy and numeracy skills which will enable her to re-join primary school at a later date. When Amal was registered for the centre she was provided with all the materials she needed: books, a pencil and sharpener, a school bag, erasers, and crayons and pens. Immediately, she blossomed, showing a commitment that quickly enabled her to catch up with her classmates and become elected as class prefect. Unfortunately Amal’s father’s landlord suddenly increased the house rent and the family had to make the difficult decision to move to alternative accommodation in Heliwaa district – 8km from the ABE centre. Amal left the school and was devastated. “It was the saddest day of my life and I feared being out-of school again”, she told us. Her teacher Sagal said her move affected everyone in the classroom: “Amal’s classmates felt bad attending the ABE centre in the absence of their lovely friend.”

Community support:
Anticipating such disruptions, and how the community might aid children in these situations, however, is also part of Concern’s broader Children of Peace programme in Somalia. In addition to training and supporting 134 teachers, we also support 90 Community Education Committee (CEC) members to improve school management capacity. Fortunately, two weeks after Amal moved, members from the local Community Education Committee and her classmates’ parents offered Amal’s family a small hut in Siliga IDP camp so she could come back and continue her studies with her friends.

Amal explained what it meant to her: “When I arrived back, I thought that I was reborn and it was the happiest moment in my life, all my classmates welcomed me with happiness and joy”

 

WWW.AHLENFOUNDATION.ORG …making people smile!