The civil war in Somalia has hindered development and left thousands of Somalis vulnerable. War has resulted in death, major movements of people, starvation of women and children, and thousands of refugees dependent on aid.
Women and children have been most affected by the civil war and have often been displaced and many have become permanent residents of refugee camps. As a result of civil conflict, many women become widows, while others were separated from their husbands for other reasons. Women have involuntarily become the heads of households with a great responsibility to ensure the survival of their children and other family members. This has placed an additional burden for women.
Since we started work in Somalia, we have learned that communities are more than tired and frustrated by years of instability, anarchy and very slow development. Large public services are still missing because of instability and unrest. Basic needs of the population living in the area are not met.
GSA activities are planned to promote sustainable peace, and partly delegitimizing violence as a dispute resolution strategy, building capacity within Somali society, to peacefully manage disputes and reducing vulnerability to triggers that may spark violence.
All our programs are approached with a lot of care and broad analysis of the context. We strive to reach out and involve all our stakeholders from a platform of equal partnership.
GSA with Yme and NorSom started a comprehensive peace and reconciliation projects in Somalia supported by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry. Peace building in Somalia is a complex issue especially South Central Somalia where communities have not known peace for the last two decades. Women have an important role in peace efforts worldwide, and the same shall apply in Somalia.
Today peace builders in Somalia operate in increasingly complex situations, where poverty, weak governance structures, state failure, frequents internal displacements of populations and conflict are so intimately linked that building peace inherently overlaps with traditional recovery and development activities, youth programs, health initiatives, human rights support and governance processes.
As a result of the project and to ensure continued work for peace, the goal is to create a peace center in the city of Galkayo in central Somalia. The Peace Center is an initiative of NorSom who work closely with GSA and Yme about this project.