Somali girls from the UK, Norway and Somalia talk education for #dayofthegirl

Put 10 Somali schoolgirls in a virtual room together and what do you get? Chats about school, dreams for the future, ‘covering up’… and lots of giggling.

That’s what happened when Unicef Somalia partnered with Unicef UK to celebrate International Day of the Girl Child and its theme of Innovation in Education, by creating a Google+ Hangout for Somali girls in-country and in the diaspora. The girls, aged 12-14, from Mogadishu (Somalia), London (UK) and Oslo (Norway) got together to share opinions, ideas and to explore the similarities and differences, due to or in spite of, their Somali heritage.

Watch a short clip of the girls’ chat:

Somalia has some of the lowest education indicators in the world. Over 20 years of civil war has led to the collapse of civil society. Two generations of education has all but been destroyed, with only 36% of girls and 45% of boys attending school.

Those that do attend school enrol long after the recommended started age of six and many drop out early too. Girls in particular drop out early, often upon reaching puberty. Early marriage and female genital mutilation as well as other cultural and financial issues are usually the cause.

The girls from Mogadishu in this video are from temporary schools created in camps for internally displaced people recently as part of a massive education drive by the year-old Federal Government of Somalia. Known as the Go 2 School Initiative, the campaign has already built and renovated many schools and classrooms, trained 2,000 teachers and is working on  a national curriculum. Building on the current fragile peace, the aim is to get 1 million children into school over the next three years and so maintain the peace and create economic growth.

For more on the campaign to improve girls’ education, follow #dayofthegirl on Twitter and watch today’s Google Hangout at 2pm GMT between Unicef Executive Director Anthony Lake and students from the US, South Sudan and more.

Comments

  • Leila Mohd

    I wish they let the girls in Somalia speak … people should not be afraid of silence. If the girls from UK and Norway kept quiet long enough the girls in Somalia would have said something.

  • Arnita Bryant

    The girls that did not speak, still made a presence that they are getting education and they seemed ok with just being presence. Sometimes silence is learning because you are not distracted to the conversation.

  • Nicola Simmonds

    actually the girls did speak but they were much more shy than the Somali girls from the UK and Norway. To see them speak, you need to see the longer version ;) They spoke about their studies and living in a conflict situation