Hot Sun Foundation, Nairobi, Kenyahttp://www.hotsunfoundation.org
Raised so far: £32,137.00
Great news - this project has reached its funding target. Thank you to everyone who donated. Search for another cause to support
Media attention is focusing on Somali refugees arriving at Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. Thousands of people, mostly women and children have walked for days, even weeks and arrive at Dadaab with nothing. A global team of young filmmakers are supplying Su
Somalis are fleeing the worst drought in 60 years. Thousands arrive daily at Dadaab refugee camp Kenya, overwhelming available resources. The Somalis, mainly women and children, have walked for weeks and arrive with nothing. International aid is on its way, but with over 1000 people arriving daily at Dadaab, refugees must wait to receive help. En route to Dadaab, Somali families need immediate interim assistance, including blankets, water, high energy food, sandals, emergency shelter.
A global team of young filmmakers from USA, Australia, Kenya, Somalia, Netherlands including Ahmed Farah, who has documented the life of Somali refugees for several years, Abdisalaan Aato, Deeq Afrika, Ayub Abdi are taking Survival Backpacks to Somalis walking to Dadaab. Survival Backpacks include temporary shelter, blankets, sandals, high energy food, milk, water They will report on the situation on video and photos to show the impact of your assistance. Multiple trips are planned.
Survival Backpacks will provide needed basics for Somali refugees walking from the border to Dadaab with nothing. Even more powerful will be the effect of Survival Backpacks being distributed by Somali filmmakers, who have been working with refugees at Dadaab. Somalis will have a chance to tell their stories about what is happening both in Somalia and at Dadaab on video and through photos, giving all of us a unique opportunity to learn what's happening and see the impact of our assistance.
Greetings from northern Kenya, near the border with Somalia!
On their last trip, the Survival Backpacks/Global Somali Response team found the situation had changed at Dhobley inside Somalia. Because of conflict, they were unable to return to Dhobley on this trip.
Therefore the Survival Backpacks/Global Somali Response team changed their plans and found a group of Somalis inside Kenya at a place called Daffur, that had no supplies. The 320 people, men, women, and children were not receiving help from any organization and were in severe need.
One Somali explained, " We have lost everything, all our cattle. We came here hoping life could be better".
Watch the short video about the distribution at Daffur on http://globalsomaliresponse.org/?p=186
Thanks for all you do!
On 16 August 2011, the Survival Backpacks team distributed supplies to 250 Somali families near the Kenyan border with Somalia.
Here is one Somali woman's story:
"I left with ten children and lost seven of my boys and my husband on the road. We started to drink each others' urine for 28 days to stay alive. Now I'm here only with three of my children" (Khadija)
The Survival Backpacks team is gathering supplies in Nairobi, including 3000 emergency shelters, to take to the border with Somalia early next week. We are also preparing more video footage of stories from Somali families, which we will post on youtube.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Fed up of watching -from the comfort of our living rooms- untold horrors unfold in the Horn of Africa, fed up of hearing plans made but not seeing much done, fed up of making excuses for ourselves -excuses like we were too young or too poor or too far away from the problem to make a difference- we, young people from Somalia, Kenya, America, Australia and the UK formed the Global Somali Response.
The purpose of the Global Somali Response is to identify the major gaps in the existing emergency responses so as to mobilize the Somali community in the diaspora to stand up and take ownership and responsibility for their people, to drive resources where they matter the most -en route to Dadaab rather than just in Dadaab itself- and to restore the dignity of the Somali people.
The road to Dadaab is paved with open graves saying ii kaalay… ii kaalay… (come to me… come to me…). There, we met people that were faced with the difficult choice of sitting and waiting for death, or getting up and walking towards it. We met families that had walked for 22 days straight and were willing to walk another 90km to Dadaab. We met mothers that had left their children on the roadsides to die alone, and fathers that had no more energy left to feel grief for their lost children. The most appalling thing was that no aid agencies were there in the routes to Dadaab to help these people.
We are putting together a series of appeal clips and documentaries to raise money and awareness on the plight of the refugees. We are also raising funds to fill Survival Backpacks with essential supplies; water, glucose, slippers, blankets and some dry food. These survival backpacks shall be distributed to refugees in transit from Somalia to Kenya. This is because most deaths occur during transit, not at the destination. Only six out of ten refugees make it to Dadaab refugee camp. The Survival Packs are meant to alleviate the suffering and decrease the number of deaths.
The Global Somali Response holds the values of initiative, quick response, and genuine care and concern. Our efforts are starting to bear fruits. All over the world, young people are taking the initiative. They are stepping in to save lives. Somalis are choosing to be responsible for their own people. Young people are offering their time, money and skills to the initiative. What is unique about us is that, thanks to volunteers, the raised funds go directly to the victims unlike some other agencies that have high administration costs. It is no wonder that the international media is taking notice.
People are listening and taking action. We identified Dhobley in Somalia as one of the gaps in the emergency response, and already, the international media as well as relief organizations are beginning to focus their attention on this area. We shall continue to identify other gaps in the emergency response and find ways of filling them. Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how YOU can help. Join our Facebook page Global Somali Emergency Response for more updates or follow us on twitter @dadaab_response.
Hot Sun Foundation and Global Somali Emergency Response are delighted with the response to date from many many people around the world - 260 so far and climbing. Thanks to all of you, we are over half way to our goal of $25,000. We want to keep you updated on what is going on and how we are using the funds. Here are some questions supporters have asked us.
Q: Are donations going into Survival Backpacks or is some for the documentation part of the project?
A: All donations go into the Survival Backpacks. The video documentation is funded by the filmmaker volunteers. They are doing reports for blogs and developing a documentary to share the stories of the Somali refugees with all who are interested. So it's a synergy.
Q: How are logistics of Survival Backpacks funded, i.e purchasing, packing, transport and distribution?
A: Currently Hot Sun Foundation and its Somali filmmaker partners are absorbing the costs of personnel and infrastructure for purchase, packing, transport and distribution. We are able to do this because Hot Sun Foundation has existing infrastructure in Nairobi. To cover logistics and personnel costs of Survival Backpacks, we are basically doing it in addition to everything else we do.
Q: Are there any other overhead costs?
A: Yes, Global Giving has a set percentage of 15% for the work they do. Bank transfer and other fixed costs use another 3%. The rest goes to buy Survival Backpacks. The backpacks and contents cost $20 each. We are trying to get discounts from Nairobi suppliers.
Here is a comment from one of our supporters on facebook: "Thanks, that's what I appreciate as transparency! Will add my $25 when I get home on the weekend. Good luck with & many blessings for this project!"
Media update: On 28 July 2011, Ahmed Farah, a member of our team, was on The Stream on Al Jazeera English "Pocket Change for Somalia" http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/pocket-change-somalia
1. Subscribe, Share, retweet:
Follow Dadaab_Response on twitter
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR_1G1yOEbA Dadaab: Get there or Die Trying
AfricaFocus Bulletin http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/som1107a.php
Join us on Facebook at Global Somali Emergency Response
2. Email your suggestions, contacts, feedback to
email@example.com We welcome in-kind donations for the Survival Backpacks and volunteers.
THANKS for all you do
1 August 2011 First day of Ramadan
THANKS to all of our 285 supporters who joined our global network of support. Keep it going and growing! http://goto.gg/8478
New Partnerships Thanks to Deeq M. Afrika, we have a new partnership with Aspire2Lead in Canada. They recently wrote an article in Sway Magazine “The Face of Famine in Somalia” http://swaymag.ca/2011/07/the-face-of-famine-in-somalia/
News article in VOA (Voice of America): We are thankful that they talked about Dadaab and our work in “Youth group Fills Gap of Response For Somali Refugees”. You can read it at http://tinyurl.com/3tu8fuz
Currently preparing for next trip to Dadaab Refugee Camp and Liboi, on the Kenyan border with Somalia. We are seeking additional funds for transport and volunteers expenses. We want to use all the Survival Backpacks donations to buy backpacks. More donations means more backpacks.
Help us get the word out. Follow us on twitter at Dadaab_Response, on Facebook at Global Somali Emergency Response and our blog at globalsomaliresponse.wordpress.com.
Share the Survival Backpacks video on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR_1G1yOEbA Dadaab: Get There or Die Trying (shown on alJazeera The Stream and on Dutch TV)
Thanks for all you do.
We've just returned to Nairobi, Kenya from the trip to the Somali border today (20 July) and now the real work begins. Thanks to all for your continued support throughout the trip: with your help we were able to achieve a great deal in a very short time.
We were able last night to put together a couple short videos that briefly summarize the trip, things to generate excitement and anticipation for the larger documentary of the trip that we expect (very optimistically) to be ready by Saturday. It is the hope of Ahmed and the rest of the Survival Backpacks team that we will hold a press conference in Nairobi for the doc's unveiling, and from that we will be able to generate a lot of local (Kenyan & Somali) support.
I don't have much time for updating at the moment, things are pretty hectic here, but I wanted to write and thank you all for everything that you have given to this project. Being a part of this team, seeing the things I have seen and working with the people I have worked with has been the experience of a lifetime. I can honestly say that we saved the lives of people this weekend, if only for this weekend. It is a very special thing to have been a part of, and it wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for you.
In the words of an American woman we met on the street in Dadaab, thank you all for all that you do. It's people like you that make this world a more bearable place, and it is people like you that will make this world a much better place.
Let's keep up the momentum on this. Let's not let this stop here. The things we covered along the Somali border with Kenya NOBODY has covered...nobody is talking about this. We are leading the charge here.
Matthew Wilder, Hot Sun Foundation
24 July 2011
THANKS to the 76 people who have contributed to Survival Backpacks for Somali refugees in Kenya. A quick update and a request for all of you to reach out to others. You are the people best qualified to reach more people, get more resources and assist more Somali refugees. Your support makes a difference for the young filmmakers who are dedicating their time, skills and resources to reach Somali refugees on the border with Kenya.
Here's what we have accomplished so far. Using their own resources, a Survival Backpacks team of three Somali filmmakers Ahmed Farah (Founder RIYO Films and Director of HCTV Africa), Abdisalaan Aato (Founder of Bartamaha and Wargelin popular somali website) and Deeq. M. Afrika (Co-founder of Global Somali Youth Agenda and founder of Aduunyo.com, popular Somali website ) together with two filmmakers from Hot Sun Foundation, Claudette Oduor (Kenya) and Matt Wilder (USA) went to Liboi, Kenya on the border with Somalia. While they were in Liboi, the Survival Backpacks team saw no other organizations yet present to assist the thousands of Somali refugees camped out in the sand and dust.
For a firsthand report on what the Survival Backpacks team saw and did, go to http://globalsomaliresponse.wordpress.com/.
An example of the response from Somali refugees to Survival Backpacks team: We said to one of the refugees, 'We know this is very little. We are sorry if this is not enough for you and your family, but there are very many people on the road and we have to save a little for them as well." Do you know what the refugee did? He returned half of the little we had given him. "Please," he said, "Give it to them."
Right now the filmmaker team is working on a short documentary about the situation facing Somali refugees on their way to Dadaab. The trailer is on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR_1G1yOEbA Dadaab: Get there or Die Trying. Survival Backpacks is featured on AfricaFocus Bulletin http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/som1107a.php.
As a supporter, you are part of a unique project that arose from the on-the-ground work at Dadaab refugee camp by Somali filmmaker Ahmed Farah. Because Hot Sun Foundation has worked with Ahmed and exists as a community media program with infrastructure, we were able to help immediately. Survival Backpacks is an innovative intervention by young filmmakers that has a powerful psychological impact as well as materially assisting refugees.
We are requesting that each of you send at least five emails to friends and family and post information about Survival Backpacks on Facebook, Twitter and blogs. We post daily the results of donations to Survival Backpacks on Global Giving and send out individual thank you's to every supporter.
All of the Survival Backpacks team and members of Hot Sun Foundation thank you for your support.
Pamela Collett with field reports
Last weekend the Survival Backpacks team went from Nairobi to Liboi, Kenya near the Somali border to make an initial assessment. Our team consists of three young Somali filmmakers Ahmed Farah, Abdisalaan Aato and Deeq M. Afrika plus two from Hot Sun Foundation: Claudette Oduor, (Kenya) and Matt Wilder (USA). During our trip, Deeq M. Afrika stepped on the soil of his motherland for the first time in twenty years. He fled Somalia at 6years old.
Our trip was self-funded and through the donations of friends and family. We distributed supplies, took photos, and filmed videos on what we saw. All of which we will share through updates and with others in the relief efforts. You can follow us on twitter at Dadaab_Response.
Here are some impressions of what we saw in the area between Dadaab and Liboi, Kenya at the border with Somalia.
Took food and clothes to the new arrivals tonight. They are sleeping in the sand, under the stars, in a field of animal carcasses. Huge groups of children just laying out of doors in 40 degree heat. No shelter.
The Somali soldiers are very fluid-tempered. One argument and they were ready to pump the street. I saw guns pointed at my face. Gunfire a few metres off disrupts our interview today. Shots rang out but nobody was hurt.
Refugees banding together. Clan and tribal issues not present. But warlords/armed men still misbehaving.
Local transport and food business on border with Somalia have doubled their prices due to drought .
Met this group near the border. (see photo). They just arrived in Kenya from Somalia. They walked for 21 days. One of the refugees we met today lost 3 children in the bus to Kenya. But she gave birth to a baby girl in the bus, named her Hawa.
Survival Backpacks team distributed food, milk, water. So much more is needed. We are returning to Nairobi Wednesday 20 July for more supplies. Another trip planned.
Thanks for all your support. Keep it coming.
Donations needed NOW so we can buy more supplies in Nairobi and return to Liboi.
Deeq M. Afrika
Deeq M. Afrika sent this report:
The Survival Backpacks team is on the ground in Dadaab, Kenya. Donate to HotSun Foundation at Global Giving and they will send all your money direct to us in Shaallah. We are covering the area between Somalia and Dadaab. No NGO's are operating there and that is where the most people are dying. We are giving survival backpacks to people who are making their way to Dadaab.
Note: Survival Backpack Team includes Ahmed Farah, Deeq M. Afrika, Claudette Oduor (Hot Sun Foundation) and Matt Wilder (Hot Sun Foundation), (see photo).