Somalian Humanitarian Khadija Farah Route to Prestigious Bond International Development Awards 2020

Khadija Farah - Health and nutrition officer Nominated by International Medical Corps

Somalilandsun: The Prestigious annual  Bond International Development Awards for 2020 is of special interest to Somalia.

This is because our very own Humanitarian Khadija Farah who is based in  Baidoa Somalia was shortlisted for the Bond Humanitarian Award 2020.

Read: Somalian Humanitarian Khadija Farah Shortlisted for Prestigious Bond International Development Awards 2020

There are six categories in the  Bond International Development Awards  sponsored by Key Travel. Namely

  • The Innovation Award showcases organisations or initiatives that take novel approaches to navigate a complex and changing external environment.
  • The Collaboration Award recognises effective relationships and collaborations within and across sectors and disciplines to tackle difficult issues.
  • The Diversity Award shines a much-needed light on organisations that nurture diverse and inclusive workforces.
  • The Small NGO Impact Award acknowledges small organisations that make a big impact in people’s lives or drive positive change in the world.
  • The Humanitarian Award highlights the unacknowledged heroes working in the humanitarian field.
  • The Volunteer Award celebrates exceptional individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the organisation and the sector.

 Khadija  is in the Humanitarian category which  highlights the unacknowledged heroes working in the humanitarian field. 

The Humanitarian Award 2020 has three in the shortlist below nomination details 

Khadija Farah – Health and nutrition officer

Nominated by International Medical Corps-Somalia 

Somalia Humanitarian Khadija Farah Shortlisted for Bond International Award

Thanks to Khadija’s work, increasing the number of safe deliveries and successfully promoting practices such as exclusive breastfeeding, fewer women die in childbirth and more children survive. Work like Khadijas has led to the maternal mortality rate in Somalia dropping to 732 deaths of mothers for every 100,000 live births — down from 1,210 in 1990.

Khadija doesn’t just inspire her fellow humanitarians to action. Women and girls in several communities live in a safer environment today than before, because Khadija has managed to mobilise and convince a number of religious leaders to explicitly reject and work to end gender-based violence in their communities.

She also has established several Community Health Committees, passing on valuable skills to those in remote villages and training local community members to become their own first responders and health advocates.

Why is Khadija so inspiring? 

We asked International Medical Corps why Khadija should win this award. 

“Her compassion, fearlessness and drive know no limits. She has raised a family while simultaneously caring for the sick and wounded, as civil war ravaged the country in the 1990s. In 2011—while she was working for another NGO—she was abducted by a militant group and detained for 31 hours. She has lost friends, relatives and colleagues to the conflict.”

Shadi Zahed and Muteeb Hamdan – Tawjihi teachers  Nominatedby Relief International- Jordan 

Math teacher Shady Zahed (left) and English teacher Muteeb Al Hamdan photographed in front of Relief International’s library in Village 6 of Azraq camp in Jordan. The center offers homework support groups, a library and an early childhood development center.

When Shadi and Muteeb arrived at Jordan’s Azraq refugee camp, nonprofits were mobilising supplies to meet the immediate needs of new refugee arrivals. Few programmes were in place to meet refugees’ longer-term needs.

It was at their own initiative that the two teamed up (prior to any official grant) to address this gap in services. By reflecting on their complementary skillsets, Shadi and Muteeb concluded that they could prepare students for both tracks covered by the Tawjihi. Their commitment to preparing students for the next chapter in their lives remains the same as when they started teaching.

Despite their reluctance to enter the field of teaching while in Syria, Shadi and Muteeb quickly embraced their new roles inside Jordan’s Azraq camp. Through innovative exercises, practice exams, and hours of preparation, Shadi and Muteeb designed a curriculum that prepares students to conquer advanced subjects on the exam – while instilling a love of learning.

Why are Shadi and Muteeb so inspiring?

We asked Relief International why Shadi and Muteeb should win this award. 

“Shadi and Muteeb operate as a team. In fact, their partnership mirrors the exact composition of the Tawjihi exam, which has two different tracks – the literary and the scientific. However, it’s impossible to pass the Tawjihi exam without having some knowledge and understanding of other topics. Despite facing an unimaginable set of circumstances, Shadi and Muteeb continue to inspire optimism – and most importantly, hope – among their students.” 

Dr Agatha Aboe – Global trachoma advisor

Nominated by Sightsavers- Ghana 

Givemore Mafukidze with Dr Agatha Aboe

In Ghana, Agatha introduced the idea of conducting house-to-house searches for people with trachomatous trichiasis, the most severe stage of trachoma, which can lead to irreversible blindness. This shift in programming significantly increased treatment coverage and ensured that no one was left behind. Demonstrating leadership by example, she personally led and participated in these searches in the Northern and Upper West regions of Ghana, travelling through very difficult terrain to go door-to-door to ensure everyone was reached. Her presence greatly encouraged local case finders to go that extra mile in their work.

One of the many reasons why Agatha is so effective in her work stems from the fact that she is an incredible communicator. Agatha used to be a preacher and retains the ability to reach people from all walks of life and inspire them to action. She is also unwavering in her commitment to creating awareness about preventable blindness and disability inclusion, whether she is taking over Sightsavers’ Twitter channel for International Women’s Day, going door-to-door to find people in need of treatment, or launching a new trachoma elimination programme to members of parliament.

Agatha’s contribution to Malawi and Zambia’s trachoma elimination journey also stands out. She has provided great technical leadership and programmatic support in the start-up of both national programmes, including invaluable insight – gained from years of on-the-ground working – to ensure both countries have the right logistics in place to manage the importing and distribution of donated antibiotics, from the point of entry right the way through to providing treatment within at-risk communities. As part of this, Agatha has personally delivered train the trainer sessions so that MDAs can be conducted in the most effective way possible.

Why is Agatha so inspiring? 

The Ghanaian Ministry of Health awarded Agatha a Citation of Honour, which speaks for itself. Part of this citation reads:

“As a true visionary, you saw the end from the beginning and made every effort to get Ghana to reach that point. You took audacious critical decisions when it mattered most and you never gave up. You believe in teamwork and ensured everyone involved in the programme felt important, going to great ends to ensure his or her contribution was greatly acknowledged. Your enthusiasm and passion is highly felt by everyone who works with you. You demonstrate unflinching leadership and drive.”

We at believe that we shall be reporting on the first Somalian to winner the prestigious Bond Humanitarian Award 2020.