We are

HOPE

Education has the power to transform people, communities, and countries.

The Somali Hope Foundation was born from the idea that education is the guiding light that can lead children through the challenges they will face, towards a future where they can survive and thrive.

The Foundation

Education has the power to transform people, communities, and countries. However, education cannot be accessed equally around the world. The Somali Hope Foundation was born from the idea that education is the guiding light that can lead children through the labyrinth of challenges that life will confront them with, irrespective of geography.

The Somali Hope Foundation provides access to education to underprivileged children. Education empowers individuals to transform their lives and the societies in which they live. It also makes people aware of the rights and opportunities they may otherwise overlook. As such, the vision of the Somali Hope Foundation also follows the principles set out by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We envision a world in which all Somali children, girls, and boys, can pursue a quality education that enables them to reach their full potential. Many of the parents in this community cannot afford to send their children to schools in neighboring communities, leaving the children with little in the way of prospects. An education allows them to contribute to their community and to the wider world. It is this vision that guides the mission and values of the Somali Hope Academy.

In 2008, the newly created Board made the decision to build a school for the children in Bur salah. With the support of the Ottawa community, fundraising efforts began in support of building our school. Through various fundraising events and the generous support of key people and organizations, a tract of land was purchased in Bur salah. In 2012 detailed plans regarding the construction of the school were developed, paving the way for the official opening of Somali Hope Academy that same year.

Our Mission

To provide free, high quality and equitable education for girls and boys in rural Somalia.

Our Vision

A childhood rich in education and hope

Our Founder

Mahamud Elmi

Mahamud is determined to share education with others in Somalia.

Meet our Board

Learn more about our dedicated volunteer Board of Directors.

Partners & Donors

We envision a world in which all Somali children can pursue a quality education that enables them to reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Somali Hope Foundation (SHF) a registered charity?

Yes, SHF is a registered Canadian charity (No. 84819 1060 RR0001).

Where does my money go?

100% of all donations received go directly to the school. As a result, any donations of $20 or more are eligible for a charitable tax receipt. The Board of Directors in Ottawa, Canada does not have any administrative fees and all members are volunteers.

Why Somalia?

Somalia has a long history of civil war and hardship. As a result, an established education system is not present nor accessible throughout the country for children, especially rural children. Additionally, Somalia has a high illiteracy rate and many barriers to education that.

What type of oversight is maintained over the school?

The Board of Directors in Ottawa, Canada closely monitors the progress and activities of the school. A monthly report is submitted by the school Headmaster to the Executive Director in Ottawa detailing the school’s activities, progress and accomplishments. Additionally, there is a designated Treasurer on the Board that tracks all of the school’s finances. Financial reports are completed by the Treasurer on a quarterly basis.

At the local level, there is a Community Education Committee which is composed of three male elders, three female elders and one youth (the youth is changed each year and alternated between males and females). The Community Education Committee also oversees the school’s porgress and community engagement.

Why is one of SHF’s priorities girls’ education?

SHF is focused on girls’ education because traditionally girls have not had the same opportunities as boys to attend school or to remain in school. SHF believes in the potential of girls and seeks to keep girls in school. One way SHF does this is by holding Early Marriage Invention Conferences in the region. SHF also encourages the maintenance of a 50% girls and 50% boys ratio at the school. At the moment SHF is exceeding this, as there are more girls than boys enrolled.

What are SHF’s goals?

One of SHF’s goals is to make the school completely self-sustainable. Currently, the operating costs of the school are paid through fundraising completed by the Board of Directors in Ottawa. To achieve self-sustainability, SHF is working towards raising enough money to build a water well at the school. A water well would allow the school to sell access the to well to the local community. The local community would greatly benefit from the water well as it would represent a close and clean water source for themselves and their livestock. Additionally, the water well would allow the students to learn to grow crops. The yield from the crops could further be sold for profit.

Is the local community engaged?

The local community is fully engaged with the school. At the local level, there is a Community Education Committee which is composed of three male elders, three female elders and one youth (the youth is changed each year and alternated between males and females). The Community Education Committee also oversees the school’s activities and community engagement.

Furthermore, the local community has taken ownership over the school and has immense pride in it. This is evident in the fact that the local community is building a high school extension to the school. In 2017, the first grade 8 class graduated from the school. Recognizing the need for a high school, the local community has taken it upon themselves to construct classrooms to allow for the students to continue learning.

How can I help?

There are many ways you can help SHF. You can make a donation to the charity. Any donations of $20 or more are eligible for a charitable tax receipt. You can also plan to attend our annual gala held in Ottawa. Each year our gala showcases the achievements of the students and the progress of the school. Lastly, you can sponsor a child for an entire academic school year for only $220.