The little girl’s father believed boys and girls should be educated, and opposed female circumcision, sometimes called female genital mutilation.
The little girl’s older sister had died at age nine from tetanus, after being cut. If her father had his way it wouldn’t have happened–but it was their stepmother’s responsibility. She knew no better.
The little girl suffered—great pain, rage, confusion. She learned how her sister had died only after she herself had been cut.
All this she never stopped remembering.
She grew up, trained as a teacher, even served in the Ministry of Education. Wars swept through, a numbing, ritual violence. She fled abroad. But she never stopped remembering. She returned, and with her sister started a girls’ school in Kismayo—which then fell to the militia. The school had to close and she fled again. But the exile community urged her to resume her work, this time in Galkayo.
It was hard. Authorities opposed her centre’s programs because they addressed not only girls’ education but women’s empowerment. Sometimes she felt pain, rage, confusion.
Now, more than two decades later, the internationally praised centre is a major force for women and girls.
And the little girl—long ago grown into a woman who never stopped working on what she could never stop remembering—keeps her dream alive.
Her greatest challenge is paying teachers at least $100 per month.
And this is where Donor Direct Action comes in.