Education and Skills
Education is a basic human right. We believe education is an essential tool for achieving equality, development and peace. Non-discriminatory education benefits both girls and boys and thus ultimately contributes to more equal relationships between women and men. Equality to access and attainment educational qualifications is necessary for women to become agents of change.
Since 1997, we conducted education programs for women and girls who missed formal education opportunities. We offer the following education programs:
→ Literacy and basic informal education:
Our Education Center provides access to formal education. We run a basic 18 – 24 months program. In the first 6 months, we offer literacy in reading and writing followed with 12 – 18 months in continuation of language, mathematics and social studies for mostly young girls and boys. After the 24 months, students continue with formal schooling in private institutions.
Literacy of women is an important key to improving health, nutrition and education in the family and to empowering women to participate in decision-making in society. Investing in formal and non-formal education and training for girls and women, with its exceptionally high social and economic return, has proved to be one of the best means of achieving sustainable development and economic growth that is both sustained and sustainable.
→ Self-employment skills trainings:
We established a successful and sustainable community led program for self-employment training women in computer skills (access to Microsoft word, excel, PowerPoint), sewing and tailoring, operating and running beauty shops and salons, operating and marketing small fast food shops, housekeeping and cooking, marketing and, working with tie and dye, and trades (electrical, plumbing).
Human Rights & Democracy
Women Decision-Making Participation
The role of Somaliland women in social and economic is on increase and recognizable to a certain level. However, too limited representation of women in both election and nominative positions because of the nature of clan-based politics, which gives priority to men.
This is not only a Somaliland issue but it is a global issue that economics and politics are male-dominated and is the reason for global demand for gender justice and equity on all issues and levels of participation.
To address the issue WORDA is one of the LNGOs, Networks and Activists that rigorously works towards increase of Somaliland women’s participation and representation at all levels through capacity building of women potential leaders, women political candidates, and women activities. As well as advocating for women to be elected and nominated for positions of government at the local and higher levels.
Civic Education on Democratic Elections
The Constitution of Somaliland provides the creation and nurturing of a democratic society in which all the citizens have the right to participate in the affairs of their government. Above all, there is limited civic voter education in the general Somaliland communities, particularly rural and semi urban communities. WORDA works towards improving the knowledge of communities on their voter rights and their role as citizens in the elections.
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
Women in Somali society is on the rise with their involvement and contribution to the socio-economic development of the country in general and families. However, women face isolation when comes to seeking their rights which is subordinated by male-dominated cultural norms. Even social norms limit the participation of women in the decision-making process.
The overwhelming population considers gender bias issues as taboo and one that most people would rather not talk about it and that is the major reason gender-based violence exists in Somaliland. More seriously, there is a code of silence and phobia particularly for those with no voice.
The silence and phobia to reporting abuse is assumption for protection and keeping dignity and honor for the person and their families in accordance to social norms and values. The preserved norms and values go against basic human rights and effort addressing and reducing gender-based violence. Perpetrators are left to continue to violate and habitually rape.
To make changes towards gender-based violence WORDA takes on an advocacy role to promote community awareness and educational initiatives. This is done through the creation of local community Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) response groups. SGBV is a case referral and provides counseling and support to advocate for Anti SGBV policy and law and bring perpetrators to justice.
Female Genital Mutilation (FMG/C)
Female genital mutilation (FGM/C) is a long lasted traditional practice, which existed for centuries, and it exists in different parts of world particularly Africa and Asia. Somaliland is one of the countries that FGM existed historically and nearly every Somaliland girl undergoes (FGM/C) between the ages of six and twelve. About 98 -99% percent of girls in rural and urban have under gone FGM/C also known as SUNNA (cutting partial or all of clitoris or pharaonic which refers cutting the major part of their external genitals and the remaining skin stitched together). (FGM/C) is life threatening for young girls and creates life-long complications on reproduction throughout their life.
(FGM/C) is a national issue and its major focus is to utilize holistic approach where government and CSOs work together since it is a deep-rooted practice. WORDA is one of the organizations that works towards creating spaces for community dialogues on understanding the problems and complications of FGM/C and put in place agreed measures with family level FGM/C practice decision makers for saving and protecting girl child from FGM/C.
Economic Empowerment And Resilience
Unleash the potentiality of the poor.
Women are important to the family structure and play an important role in the economic and social development. Women run small business to cover daily livelihoods of families and as well contribute to the national economy as taxpayers. However, women miss opportunities and access to additional investment to grow their businesses due to the lack of government programs/incentives and scarcity micro-financing institutions. WORDA works towards creating opportunities for women to be economically aware by connecting women to microfinance institutions and creating members owned saving solutions known as Self Help Groups (SHGs).
SHG consist of 15 to 20 members who and are in same socio-economic background and neighborhood which allows member to attend weekly meetings and mentorship capacity building sessions by the community facilitators (CFs) and assigned project officer.
We promote organizing communities to pool their financial resources to establish a community owned savings and credit system amongst the group. SHG is an effective tool for an Economic Development Model at the micro level to move out of poverty and build towards their families’ financial goals. SHG allows women to send their kids to school, grow businesses and save up for home ownership.
Since 2013, WORDA established and organized 81 SHGs and 1,200 members.
Research For Development
We are dedicated to make research work for women, children, and youth needs and demands, we promote research evidence-based approach to advocate the human rights issues, we analysis and reflect organizational target beneficiaries needs. We produce evidence and knowledge for Channing lives of people. Our goals is to be Somaliland champion research organization that can bring about real change for community and government. WORDA works with government institutions, academic, local partner organizations, policy and practice-oriented researchers to ensure that research initiatives are relevant and that findings are accessible and useful.