On Saturday 6th June 2015, the Worldwide Somali Students & Professionals (WSSP), in collaboration with IOM, hosted the event “Brain Gain: Strengthening Somali Institutions and the Role of UK Diaspora Professionals” at University College London, to inform the UK’s Somali diaspora professionals about the Migration for Development (MIDA) Somalia programme.
The event marked the beginning of a pilot project which will see WSSP engaging their extensive network of Somali professionals in the UK, and further afield, to raise their awareness about opportunities to be involved in the strengthening of Somali institutions through the MIDA programme’s short-term assignments.
Over 100 Somali professionals attended the event where they had the opportunity to hear from the WSSP Executive Director, Kasim Ali, the IOM Somalia Chief of Mission, Gerard Waite, and the MIDA-Somalia Programme Manager, Frantz Celestin, about opportunities to apply for assignments to share their much-needed skills within Somali government institutions. “By strengthening the human resource capacity of key institutions, the Somali diaspora can play a crucial role in helping the country achieve its development goals” commented Kasim Ali. "Indeed, this project provides the structure for the Somali Diaspora to change the narrative on Somalia", added Frantz Celestin.
Gerard Waite noted that due to two decades of civil conflict, Somalia has seen a significant proportion of its population migrating to other countries which has significantly impacted the country for the past two decades. He welcomed the collaboration with WSSP as a key partner to improve the future of Somalia by tapping into the skills and cultural links of the diaspora in the UK.
Kasim Ali explained to participants that “as a global movement that exists to mobilise young Somalis to use their talents, work together and address the unmet needs of a proud nation, the WSSP is pleased to be help its members to be able to shape the future of Somalia”. He also informed the audience that the event was first of several outreach activities they will be implementing across the UK and targeting the Somali diaspora.
Frantz Celestin provided detailed information to those attending about the variety of assignments they could apply for, from health to public finance management, as well as the process they would need to follow to submit an application. While noting the challenges that they might face in participating in an assignment, audience members expressed their interest and readiness to look out for vacancies that met their skills and experience.
For information about the MIDA Somalia programme please visit http://www.quests-mida.org or contact Frantz Celestin at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about WSSP, please visit http://worldwidesomalistudents.com or contact Kasim Ali email@example.com