Somalilandsun – Sheikh Secondary School in Somaliland is special for so many reasons. Offering an exceptional level of higher learning, it is first and foremost a beacon of hope in a region of extreme poverty.
The school manages to unite a traditional African Islamic world view with a strong belief in technology, science and industry, and is the first boarding school of its kind to offer girls a higher education on an equal basis with boys. Here, girls can dream of becoming teachers, doctors, architects and engineers. Muna Omer Raabi is one student who has now graduated and says she will be “forever grateful”.
In Somali culture, girls cannot board with boys and need separate housing. Through a lack of suitable accommodation, places for girls are currently more limited than for boys. With the help of generous UK donors, funds are being raised to create extra rooms so that more girls can attend this amazing school.
The school’s success is especially remarkable given the fact that the buildings were destroyed during the Somalian civil war and for many years the site lay abandoned. Its reemergence as a preeminent seat of learning is testimony to the vision and sacrifice of British couple Enid and Dick Eyeington.
Enid and Dick moved from Swaziland, where they were both loved and esteemed, having taught the children of both Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. They came to Somaliland in 2002 to rebuild the Sheikh. Tragically, less than a year later, they were murdered by extremists.They were targeted for daring to believe that both girls and boys in Somaliland had the right to a first-class education. Thanks to the constancy of wonderful UK supporters, we are proud to continue the vision of Enid and Dick.
There are still girls who cannot go to the school. Raising more funds will help make that possible. If you can help call us or email info@ soschildren.org
For more details on the work of SOS visit http://www.soschildrensvillages.org.uk