On December 17, an AICS Director’s Decree was signed to include Soomaaliya Onlus in the list of CSOs. This is the first association of Diasporas in Italy included in the list of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS).
Soomaaliya Onlus was founded in Turin on March 20, 2002 by Dr. Mohamed Aden Sheikh, with the aim of creating a new reality operating in favor of disadvantaged populations in developing countries, with particular attention to Somalia, through development cooperation, education, health care, naturalistic and environmental protection, culture and art.
The registration in the CSOs list takes place at the end of a process of growth and institutional strengthening of the association, fueled also through the contribution of the National Summit of the Diasporas, an initiative financed by AICS which, since 2017, has supported the associations of the diaspora present in Italy in their activities, through training and enhancement of the skills and sensitivity expressed by the different realities with a migratory background present on the national territory.
Thanks to the funds raised through the Somali Diaspora, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the eight per thousand, the Waldensian Table, the IOM, Foundations, private benefactors and decentralized cooperation, the Soomaaliya Onlus Association has been involved for some years in the construction of a health center of about 400 meters in the district of Abudwak in Somalia and in the purchase of the medical and medical equipment necessary for its operation.
Also in Abudwak, the association, thanks to the collaboration with local volunteers and associations, is engaged in the preparation and implementation of a municipal solid waste collection system, in order to reduce environmental contamination and improve livability in the urban area. Within this initiative, a waste treatment and storage area was created and the establishment of a cooperative of waste collection operators was promoted. Furthermore, the cooperative was equipped with compressors, electric cables, work clothes of different types. Also thanks to this initiative, public hygiene in the Abudwak district area has significantly improved.
In Italy, Soomaaliya Onlus is committed to raising awareness of Piedmontese citizenship, promoting and supporting young Somalis and Italo-Somalis to encourage their inclusion and supporting the return of the skills developed in Europe by Somalis from the diaspora. Meetings are regularly held on the regional territory involving migrants and locals aimed both at easing the tensions arising from the presence in certain areas of the metropolitan area of Turin of communities of asylum seekers of Somali origin, and at establishing positive partnerships between migrants and locals.
The registration of Soomaaliya Onlus in the AICS list represents an important step in the growth of the association, which at the same time reflects the desire to promote the knowledge and skills of the Diaspora on Development Cooperation and encourages the inclusive representation of Diaspora in international cooperation, central objectives within AICS’s strategy on migration and development.