Somali Hope Academy’s development was a dream of Mahamud Elmi, an Ottawa resident who had fled the civil war in Somalia. In the early 2000s, Mahamud Elmi became a member of the Ottawa Police Service. As a Somali-Canadian, he worked tirelessly within the Canadian context to build relationships and make a difference in the community he serves. However, in undertaking this professional journey, he continued to yearn to make a difference in the country of his birth, a country that has continually suffered immeasurably over the past 30 years. His dream was to contribute to a brighter future for the children of Somalia, and education was a key part of his plan. He envisioned a world in which all Somali children, boys and girls, can pursue a quality education that enables them to reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world. It is this vision that guides the mission and values of Somali Hope Academy.
Somali Hope Academy is dedicated to providing 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 their rights and opportunities. As such, the vision of Somali Hope Academy also follows the principles set out by the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
In 2008, with the support of the Ottawa Police Service and the Ottawa Police Association, fundraising efforts began in support of building our school. Through various fundraising events, and the generous support of Mr. Steve Lerner and Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, a parcel of land was purchased in Bursalah, a small town in Puntland, Somalia. School plans were developed and in 2012, the Somali Hope Academy was officially opened. Today, in excess of 300 underprivileged boys and girls receive free education at the academy. The academy consists of a Board of Directors based in Ottawa and employs a headmaster and teachers to deliver the program. The academy also works in partnership with the local Education Ministry in developing and delivering the school curriculum. The academy further provides fresh water to locals and offers adult education programs to parents from the local village. The generous support of the Ottawa Police Service and the Ottawa School Board allowed us to provide laptops and other necessary equipment to assist in delivering our program.
Fundraising efforts allowed us to raise over $150,000 to purchase the land, hire contractors and build the school. However, the annual operating costs of the school from administration to teacher’s salaries, amounting to $66,000 CAD remain outstanding each year.
100% of all money raised goes directly to the school.
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.
President: Michael Sanford
– Member, Parole Board of Canada
Vice-President: Debra Frazer
– Director General, Ottawa Police Service
Chair: Nasser Ali
– Business Owner (Nasser Travel), Ottawa
Treasurer: Abdirizak Abdi
– Consultant, Government of Canada
Charity Administrator: Olivia Genders
– Public Servant, Government of Canada
Founder/Executive Director (not included in the board): Mahamud Elmi
– Police Officer, Ottawa Police Service
Started in Ottawa in 2011, the Somali Hope Academy Foundation is a registered Canadian charity (No. 84819 1060 RR0001). Download our most recent annual report for more details. Please contact us should you have any questions or want to support the Foundation.