Pillars of Hope – Quarterly Update
With Spring comes hope, and we have much good news to share. With your continued generosity, the Somali Hope Foundation has made tremendous progress both in Canada and Somalia.
We have been very lucky that Bursalah has been a relatively low-risk area during the COVID-19 pandemic. Support from Human Concern International has helped us to implement a safe reopening plan. Everyone is doing their best to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, and community at large.
Focusing on Future Themes
As part of our strategic plans, we have five themes to help guide our activities and fundraising:
- PFinancial Sustainability – Attain
- PAccess to Free, Quality and Equitable Education – Expand and Enrich
- PGender Equality – Create More Opportunities
- PBarriers to Education – Lower and Overcome
- POrganizational Capacity – Make Investments
Throughout 2021, we will work towards creating a document outlining more details about the strategic plans that will be manifested and achieved. As part of this process, we have enlisted professional support that will increase our social media presence, attract more donors, level up on our communications and marketing materials, and structure additional creative ways of fundraising.
If you have not already done so, please find us on social media and engage with our activity. Likes, comments, and shares are a great way to create more awareness and show your support.
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The Well Project – Clean Water is a GameChanger
The dream of reliably supplying potable water to the residents, businesses, institutions, and farms of Bursalah is becoming a reality. Drilling of the well began several months ago thanks to a benevolent supporter in the area. The project has made amazing progress, already striking a reliable and clean source of water.
Two additional significant phases of work remain to be completed before residents can turn on their taps and see water flowing into their homes. It is the hope that this welll may help contribute to the financial sustainability of the Somali Hope Academy. In the near future, revenue from the Well Water Project could cover a portion of the Somali Hope Academy operating costs.
Water WellPhase 1
Water WellPhase 2
Care and Education for our Teachers and Staff
Education is a full circle and we must also provide opportunities for our teachers to learn, improve and grow. Alongside the Community Education Committee, the Somali Hope Academy teachers and staff had a pedagogical day in March 2021. Together they recognized and reflected on the efforts and challenges this academic year, including topics related to the pandemic, but also curriculum and the student body. These include: Safely re-opening the schools, managing an increase in enrollment, teaching the Grade 12 curriculum for the first time, and supporting the students applying for university.
Our teachers and staff continue to go “above and beyond”, especially this year. We are very grateful for the work of the dedicated teachers, staff, and community.
The Somali Hope Academy Celebrates Academic Success
As a testament to the quality of our teachers, the relevance of our curriculum, and the motivation of our students, we are happy to continue to report that our students achieve top marks. The first term in 2020 ended with stellar report cards for our students.
The Grade 8 and Grade 12 students are set to write the Somali-wide exams in May. These exams are written in English, and we expect that they will continue the school record of 100% pass rate! These achievements are another indicator of the importance of quality, equitable education, provided to children in a safe environment, where they are nourished and cared for by our highly qualified teachers and support staff.
Our First Graduating Class
The month of May 2021 will mark the graduation of the first Grade 12 class of the Somali Hope Academy. This is an important milestone for all of us – the students, their families, the teachers, the community, and our supporters around the world.
There are eleven girls and seven boys graduating, many of whom are applying to universities. The feelings of hope abound, we are so proud to see our educated youth embarking on the next chapter in their lives.
Stay tuned to hear more about the graduation ceremony and see first-hand, how education transforms lives.
The Somali Hope Foundation Annual General Meeting
Virtual AGM, via Zoom
Saturday, April 23, 2021
Due to current public health regulations, this year’s AGM will be virtual. Important work is accomplished during this meeting. Being virtual provides an opportunity for more supporters to participate. The hardworking Board of Directors of the Somali Hope Foundation will share updates on our operations. We are excited to take the opportunity to show our gratitude to our partners and supporters.
If you would like to participate in our AGM, please register to attend:
11th Somali Hope Foundation Annual Gala (Virtual)
Saturday, June 19, 2021
6:00pm – 9:00pm
Last year’s virtual gala was a huge success! We were able to welcome supporters from all over the world, and we plan to do the same this year. The Annual Gala is more than a fundraising event. This is our opportunity to celebrate our successes and inspire everyone by sharing the achievements of our students.
2021 is a special year: We are celebrating our first graduating class. You will have the joy of our valedictorian speech!
To purchase tickets in advance or to sponsor a virtual table, please email [email protected] for more information.
Last year, we set an ambitious goal of raising $125,000. With your help, we exceeded our goal and raised over $200,000! During these uncertain times, with worldwide donations at an all-time low, we are so grateful to you, our supporters, our global community, who remain steadfast in our shared core value and goal to bring hope through education.
Our deepest thanks go to individual donors, Gala participants and sponsors, and our major partners: Human Concern International, Canada Fund for Local Initiatives / Fonds canadien d’initiatives locales, Eli Tannis, EY Centre, SNMC Center & Masjid, Redblacks, Toos Technical Solutions, and imagine ideation. Together, we have all contributed to sustaining the Somali Hope Foundation and our community projects for yet another year.
As our enrollment continues to grow, becoming more sustainable is top of mind and we have spent the past year creating a strategy to move towards that goal. To that end, we are embarking on various levels of partnerships that we hope will bring us closer to sustainability, providing free education to girls and boys in Somalia.
We have established a partnership with a charity in the United Kingdom, Edu-First.org. They are taking on the challenge of raising money for our high school science lab. Obtaining scientific equipment and instruments will enrich the curriculum and is critical to the scientific learning journey. They hope to raise $4,500 CAD by running in the Berlin Marathon as a way to attract sponsors and donors. Pairing physical fitness with important social causes, what a great idea! Wishing them the energy they need to help us reach our fundraising goals!
On the Horizon…
University and Career Preparation – We will introduce this new program for the 2021/2022 academic year. Designed for Grade 11 and 12 students, this program will provide the opportunity to explore university and career paths. The program will assist students in preparing their university admission applications. This is especially important for the female students. Although they may have fewer role models to help them envision future paths, their school and community support them on their journey.
An inspiring challenge – The success of the school means that student enrollment increases every year, sometimes by more than 30%. As we evaluate the staffing needs, we need to hire more teachers. The responsibilities associated with operating both the Somali Hope Academy elementary and high school have grown, and next year the high school will need its own headmaster. All of these considerations need to be factored into fundraising for the coming year.
This is why we need to double our goal this year. We hope to count on your support to help us continue bringing education to children and supporting their community.