Yousra el Nemr
Around 30,000 children die every three months, 12,000 000 men, women and children are on the brink of dying of hunger, and 100 children die every 200 seconds in Somalia. While world governments seem to be overwhelmed by these numbers and do not take real actions to save a population in need, 18 on-campus organizations have collaborated efforts to take action.
AUCians for Somalia is a donation campaign that aims to collect around 720,000 Egyptian pounds; the money won’t be used in buying food, water, or medicine, but instead, it will be used to dig a well in Somalia. This well will serve 10,000 Somalis and support them to drink, plant and raise cattle.
“Usually the United Nations (UN) donations only reach the borders of Somalia but they do not reach the people in the internal areas,” explained Zeina Mohamed, the human resources head of Help Club and one of the campaign’s main organizers.
“The 18 on-campus participating organizations along with the cooperation of the Arab Medical Union, wanted to give Somalis a gift that will last, something that will be sustainable and provide them with continuous support,” she added.
Students in these organizations are responsible for collecting donations on and off campus from students, faculty, staff, organizations, businessmen, or any other sources. Other student representatives will eventually travel to Somalia to observe the construction of the well.
While AUC students are mainly responsible for the fundraising, the Arab Medical Union is responsible for the process of digging the well and implementing the project based on the contract signed between the 18 organizations and the union.
Community service clubs are not the only organizations involved; other student organizations such as the recently founded radio club Nos El Kobaya were motivated to participate in this student led project as their vice president, Sally Ahmed explained:
“AUCians for Somalia has a very effective cause, and it enhances the message that AUCians should have a developmental role not only in Egypt but also in any suffering country and Somalia now is really suffering and people there die of hunger, so we must support them since we can do so.”
“Our main vision in radio El Kobaya is to ‘Inspire through connection’ and that’s what we are trying to do with the other organizations; we gather them together under the goal of collecting donations for Somalia,” continued Ahmed.
This is not the first time for a diverse group of student organizations to participate in such a donation campaign.
AUCians for Somalia is the third campaign that is organized by AUC students to lend a hand to a country in need. A few years ago students formed the AUCians for Gaza campaign, and there was a similar campaign for Libya, with both campaigns collecting donations that reached more than a million pounds.
“Online and on-campus publicity, man power, and collecting donations are the main things that we, as AYBians, do to support the AUCians for Somalia campaign. We collect donations from ourselves, our families and we encourage students to donate using word of mouth,” commented Ibrahim Gamal El Din, Alshanek Ya Balady (AYB) president.
Many students outside these specific organizations were also motivated to participate by donating for the cause or spreading the word.
Mai Magdy, a computer engineering student, gave her thoughts on the initiative: “It’s a very good campaign that has a clear goal; however, people organizing this campaign need to reach more people and to publicize more for their goal because there are a lot of people who want to donate but need to make sure of the credibility of the campaign.”
With concerns of the project being hijacked by a group of people and not reaching the people of Somalia, Zeina Mohamed, one of the main organizers, insisted that there is no collaboration with the Egyptian government on this campaign and that it’s only carried out by AUC students and the Arab Medical Union.
“We promised to reach out for Somalis and we will do our best to do so,” Mohamed added.