>Helping to rebuild Somaliland

>Hi, this is Rob Sarjant, Head of Programmes and Operations at Book Aid International, reporting directly from Somaliland on our work here.

After a day spent in traffic-choked Nairobi visiting Kenya National Library Service and the Slums Information and Development Resource Centres (sadly, their main library burnt down earlier this year and needs a lot of support), I took a small EC plane or ECHO flight this morning to Hargeisa, Somaliland. Whilst here, I will assess our book donation support and deliver a workshop for teacher librarians. Book Aid International works closely with the Africa Educational Trust who heve a local office here and have helped establish many libraries.

This is my first visit to Somaliland which, though officially a part of Somalia in the eyes of the world, sees itself as very much an independent state. It has been operating that way fairly successfuly and peacefully for over 15 years, but it is a fledgling state. Libraries are seen as one way to help rebuild and support the country.

Over the next couple of days I will be travelling out from the capital, to two towns, Berbera and Borama, to see the libraries there. Although Somaliland is peaceful, it is still recommended to travel with armed guards – when studying to become a librarian many years ago, I would never have expected this!

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5 responses to “>Helping to rebuild Somaliland

  1. >Interesting blog – but I can't see any women in the photo that accompanies it. Please do your best to encourage women to use these resources too! Many thanks, Naomi Bowen

  2. >I have been invited to participate the workshop, but I disappointed when I heard that it was concluded with out call of planned participants.No matter it was corruption made by local offices.

  3. >I have been invited to participate the workshop, but I disappointed when I heard that it was concluded with out call of planned participants.No matter it was corruption made by local offices.

  4. >There were no women in this photo because there was only one woman in the resource centre at the time, and she left quickly. Unfortunately, this is an issue in Somaliland and elsewhere, and you will see from later entries in the blog that it was discussed at the workshop we held a few days later. You will also see photos where women are using libraries. See the full set of photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/27416923@N06/sets/72157622684086739/

  5. >Dear Haadi, unfortunately the workshop was restricted to secondary school libraries and a few other resource centres. The call to invite primary school libarians was a mistake and there would not have been enough space to run an effective workshop with more participants. Perhaps another time though……

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