Somaliland is an autonomous area of Somalia, in the Horn of Africa, which considers itself the natural successor state of the former British Somaliland protectorate. The war for independence from Somalia, which ended in 1993, claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people. Whilst it now experiences relative peace, poverty, unemployment and disease are widespread problems.
There are so few schools in Somaliland that many students must walk 20 kilometres to find one, and they are often in such a bad state of repair that teaching is seriously compromised. Many parents cannot afford to send their children to school because they are an invaluable source of labour, and few parents see the connection between education and increased income. Consequently, Somaliland is a desperately poor country that often lacks even the most basic health, education and agricultural facilities.
The people of Somaliland are in great need of the life-changing hope that child sponsorship can bring to their families and communities. Click here to sponsor a child in Somaliland through ActionAid, one of the world's leading relief and development agencies. They have developed a child sponsorship scheme which links people in more affluent countries with individual children in developing countries around the world.
ActionAid has been working alongside communities in Somaliland since 1980, although its work has been interrupted by political instability on more than one occasion. It seeks to improve access to basic sanitation, health and education facilities. Specifically, ActionAid has invested in the training of health workers (including HIV counsellors) and the provision of health services, which are otherwise too few and far between to be of service to most in Somaliland.
ActionAid has also focused its efforts on supplying clean, safe water to as many people as possible. This is often combined with the training of farmers in innovative techniques that yield bigger harvests while conserving water and soil usage. The charity also invests heavily in the construction of education facilities, and the training of teachers in 'Relfect', ActionAid's hugely successful adult literacy program.
In the 37 years since its inception, ActionAid has reached many millions of people in Africa, Asia and the Americas, and it has developed a wealth of expertise in fighting poverty. ActionAid partners with local organisations and recognises the need to work with communities on their own terms, and not impose solutions. By getting to know the culture intimately ActionAid workers have the best possible opportunity to effect a lasting end to poverty.
Sponsoring a child in Somaliland today will cost you only 50 pence per day. Your money will also go towards development efforts in the town in which the child you sponsor lives. This will ensure the most efficient and effective use of your money.
As a child sponsor you will be able to arrange a personal visit with your child and communicate with them. You can also look forward to receiving special letters and drawings from them, including a new photograph every two years. Additionally, you get to see where and how your money is being spent by keeping in touch with your child's local ActionAid office, and through regular editions of Common Cause, ActionAid's newsletter.
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