Saturday, March 23, 2013
Several student organizations are coming together in order to
provide education in a country that has been ridden with strife for
Members of over 10 campus organizations have banded together in
order to raise $5,000 to build a school in Somalia for almost 100
students ages six to 12 in the Mogadishu area, the largest city in
Somalia. The school will have two morning teachers and two afternoon
teachers and will provide breakfast to the students daily.
The campus organizations aligned with non-profit
Aadamiga Somalia due to a personal connection some members found to the
area. Purdue students got in contact with a Somalian friend at a
different university, whose mother founded the non-profit in 1987, and
found that the devastation in Somalia is certainly worth aiding.
Aadamiga Somalia has also provided funds for building two other schools
“The reason why we picked Somalia is (because)
Somalia has had the worst fortune ever in terms of countries – civil
war, after civil war, after civil war,” Vignesh Gouthaman, ex-president
of Purdue Taal, said. “1.8 million kids are not even getting an
education right now; they’re out of school – they’re supposed to be in
The campaign to build a school for Somalian students
hit home for a lot of students who are aiming to fund raise for the
initiative. The students believe that this school will be one of the
best ways to provide stability to the country.
Abdul Mubin Mohd Hanafiah, outreach officer of Purdue
University Malaysian Student Association, said that educating children
is very important because it gives the children of Somalia something to
rely on in the future.
“If you think about it, education is very important,
especially for children because you’re educating the kids that will
decide the future of your country,” Hanafiah said. “Other organizations
are doing help for the present; we’re here to help for the future so
they have something to fall back on.”
The Purdue organizations that are supporting this
initiative are raising money that will be used to pay for contractors
and materials. Salaries for teachers will be paid for by an outside
organization and books for students will be provided by UNICEF.
Iman Allawzi, president of Purdue’s Society for the
Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, and Gouthaman
have spearheaded the campaign and have previously worked together to
raise funding for the devastating 2010 flooding of Pakistan. Both
graduating seniors hope that a student group, Students for Somalia, will
be created as Purdue students become aware of the situation and are
compelled to help in the future.
Every organization that is involved in the charity
had their own reasons for becoming invested in the charity effort. For
Ermias Enyew, vice president of the Purdue chapter of the National
Society of Black Engineers, he felt they want to be involved in the
community and do their part to spread the word about the issues in
“We feel that this $5,000, if we were to be raising
it for any other cause, would not be able to make a substantial
difference as much as we’re making for this project,” Gouthaman said.
“There are many other charities that are on campus doing very good work
(and) we feel that this is a place where this $5,000 would make the
biggest difference in 100 lives.”
The campus groups are hosting a Musical Night from 8
to 10 p.m. Friday night at Vienna Cafe that will feature a variety of
genres of music and 25 percent of the profits made during that time
frame will go to the school fundraising. There will also be donation
boxes and wristbands for sale. In April, there will be a dinner at St.
Thomas Aquinas to raise awareness and funding for the effort.