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Somali Youth Organization for Development and Reforming
an article by Abdelrahman Mohamed Turyare, General coordinator

The Somali youth organization for development and reforming (SOYODER) is a non-governmental organization founded by a group of Somali youth in the millennium year 2000 in order to serve Somali social protection and engage in development and reforming activities for the Somali community.

Due to the collapse of the central government of Somalia, Somalia has been exposed to lack of protection and lack of development during three decades of inefficiency. In the past 15 years, Somalia has been engulfed by civil confrontation, which devastated the whole country's infrastructure and institutions. As a result, many services remain paralyzed including hopes for peace, social services, democracy, Human rights, education and other social development factors. In view of all this, SOYODER was initiated to respond to the general social setback of the Somali people.

The vision of SOYODER is to fully abolish all types of abuses and enable the Somali population to enjoy their rights especially with the administration of justice, also in order to ensure equal rights for all on earth and life together in world harmoniously with peace, stability, understanding, democracy, solidarity and tolerance.

The SOYODER has a large operational coverage area in all Somali regions and it has both long and short term plans for its activities.

SOYODER officers have implemented several activities on judiciary-related data collection. Investigation, documentation, monitoring and advocacy activities include the following :
1. Arbitrary detention
2. Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
3. Bad condition of prisoners
4. Violations to the principles of the juvenile justice
5. Violations to the independence of judges.

Since there are no free of charge educational opportunities in Somalia, SOYODER has opened two centers for literacy development and vocational training for the illiterate people and militia groups, using our motto :"put down the gun and take up the pen". Up to now 125 militia have graduated from the center. Previously they were killers before who didn't know any thing about others' rights, but now they are professionals earning their daily life from their profession not from robbing, kidnapping, and killing as they were before.

SOYODER has conducted social participatory discussions about peace education, especially Somali peace building process and restoring of central institutions for Somalia.

The above-mentioned activities are being done voluntarily by SOYODER's officers and volunteers, and SOYODER seeks funds from local and international donors for the successful completion of these activities.


Question(s) related to this article:

"Put down the gun and take up the pen", What are some other examples?

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This report was posted on June 13, 2007.