A Marshall Plan of Our own
by Bashi Moalin
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
“The Marshall Plan which was officially the European Recovery Program, ERP was the American program to aid Europe where the United States of America gave financial support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II in order to prevent the spread of Soviet Communism.”
“The plan was in operation for four years beginning April 1948. The goals of the United States were to rebuild a war-devastated region, remove trade barriers, modernize manufacturing industries, and make Europe prosperous again.”
Sincerely I don’t expect that to happen in Somalia and that is why I ask our new government to move forward and start mobilizing our people in the Diaspora to both educate our people and rebuild the nation.
For the country to progress, the current government must take advantage of the Somali people living abroad who are both successful business people and educators. We shall make use of the students in North America and European Union countries who are Somali of origin. First the students in North America and European Union counties who are of Somali origin should be encouraged to take up summer volunteer jobs at our Somali public schools, and the successful business people abroad should be mobilized to raise funds to build hospitals, roads and schools back in our country.
This can only be achieved if the current government designs a master plan of action which involves:
1. Opening up of coordinating offices in every liberated city in Somalia
2. Opening up coordinating offices in cities abroad that will be up to our cause.
3. Create an atmosphere of trust by giving the people the ownership of the program and play a facilitating role.
4. Use the media that our people trust such as Hiiraan online, Bartamaha online, Universal Tv, Somali channel, and all other websites that are known to contribute to our Somali unity.
The plan could help rebuild Somalia’s infrastructure and social services to ensure the youth go back to schools. The peasants can afford to earn a decent living within their locality; professionals also have jobs and ensure that every Somali put a block on process of rebuilding our nation.
We must critically examine the consequences of the Alqaida and Alshabaab terrorist effects on our society. Much as we know that they have been defeated militarily, it is just a temporary measure compared to cutting a tree and leaving the stem intact. As soon as the rain falls, it grows freshly again. A secular education is a must and using the help of our students from the diaspora is a very important tool because they at least exposed. The community rehabilitation services/centers are also necessary to uproot the terrorist ideology in the minds of Somalis especially the youth as a permanent solution.
Vocational training needs to be introduced and emphasized in Somalia. Our brothers and sisters in Diaspora who have already tasted this will be mobilized and encouraged to come back to Somalia to give both financial and material support to their brothers and sisters at home. They should embark and commit their time on reviving public schools which are devastated. This will help many Somalis who can’t afford to pay school fees in private schools and unlikely to attend formal schools.
They can also teach informal education such us tolerance and respect for the rule of law and coexistence. They can debunk the idea we against others and be testimony to the western culture of peace and tolerance.
The benefit of using our youth abroad in educating the youth in Somalia is enormous as it will help rebuild our public schools, bring about high level education from the west and elevate the level of education in Somalia and enable the poor get equal and better education than that of the private schools in Somalia. It will help foster sense of belonging and brother hood within our society and move forward. We will move forward because education is the best way to fight ignorance.
Finally, waiting for foreign aid to build Somalia is a losing proposition. We must not wait or rely upon it in order to rebuild or develop our country. No single country has ever developed through donor funding. I will call upon my fellow Somalis in and outside Somalia demand action from the new government and support this initiative. I am trying to voice the concerns and ideas of the Somali nationals who care about their nation and people and a capable of sharing with everyone. It is against my wish to write an article like the one below again because this time the nation is at a cross roads and we must succeed. Any shortcomings will be blamed on all of us and we will pay the price for generations to come.