Giving Somalis the Needed Skills to Solve Problems Peacefully
WASHINGTON, April 26, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Choowa Institute and HAQSOOR NGO, a non-governmental organization operating in Somaliland, have agreed to cooperate on peace-building activities. This partnership provides technical assistance to the locally-operated organization to improve on existing, conflict resolution services. It also allows the Choowa Institute to provide standard and effective ways to help Somalis in settling their disputes and finding policy solutions that could secure a better future for the whole of Somalia. The Executive Director of HAQSOOR NGO said:
"I feel that with the shared principles and Choowa Institute's experience, talent, and outstanding practice, work on conflict mitigation and reconciliation practices will contribute at large the ongoing peace-building initiatives at the national level and this will also no doubt elevate our joined activities and bolster the name and achievement of our joint partnership."
Somalia is one of the poorest countries in Africa. According to a 2009 report written for the UN Development Programme, one million Somalis had emigrated to various countries as far as Europe and North America. A significant proportion of the population had been forced to leave their permanent home and remains living in temporary shelter elsewhere within the country. This large migration can be compared to the Great Famine of Ireland. A driving force that has led to this situation is the lack of a functioning central government since 1991. Individual persons and groups have been left with their own devices to survive. Somaliland in the north and Puntland in the northeast have been able to form stable governing institutions and are working to secure their respective region. But the region in the central and southern portions of the country continues to be mired in tense, intractable conflict. Ongoing violence, moreover, neutralizes the gains that have been made in the northern regions. Despite the absence of a central government and two decades of civil war, Somalia has been able to withstand total collapse due to annual remittances which have gone to assist family members still in the country and to start small-scale businesses.
As part of the Choowa Institute's five-year strategy, the Somalia country program will work to achieve several goals to setting the country on a solid path to peace and security. Through a series of mediation seminars with all possible stakeholders, public policies and general solutions will be developed and refined. Near the end of the program, a national security policy manual will be drafted that meets the needs of the Somali people. As the Choowa Institute's local partner, HAQSOOR NGO will become an authorized, local mediation center where Somalis can feel that a true, neutral party exists to help disputed groups come to an agreement. Local Somalis will be provided specialized training in conflict mediation with practical skills that can be applied in an environment that could spur economic development.
Choowa Institute has focused on Somalia via direct work in Somaliland. With collaboration from HAQSOOR NGO, the foundation for peace can be laid and movement toward greater security can progress. Somalis will benefit either through direct training or through dispute resolution. In both cases, Somalis will leave with a positive outlook and a process to making sound decisions, without having to pull the trigger of a gun.
The Choowa Institute for International Peace and Security ("Choowa Institute") is a (Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code) non-profit, non-governmental organization in the District of Columbia. The organization operates exclusively for educational and research purposes. Specifically, Choowa Institute is a conflict resolution organization that uses active communication and active listening to manage and resolve conflicts within and between groups, countries, and regions. The organization works to develop practical (win-win) solutions that all of the stakeholders can agree on. "Choowa" is a Japanese word that means harmony, balance, and accord. Choowa Institute is located on the Web at http://www.Choowa.org.
SOURCE Choowa Institute for International Peace and Security