Operating in Somaliland and Puntland, Handicap International works with local disabled people’s organizations to promote the rights of people with disabilities, especially women and children. Currently, Handicap International has nine staff in Somaliland and two in Puntland.
In 1991, Somaliland proclaimed itself a state after three years of bloody civil war. Puntland, in north-east Somalia, has been an independent state since 1998. Somaliland is currently fairly calm and functional, but the security situation is fragile due to weak state control, ineffective law enforcement, and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. Handicap International began its operations in Somaliland in 1992 by setting up a rehabilitation center in Hargeisa, the capital of the region.
Handicap International works with the government of Somaliland to improve the inclusion of people with disabilities in civic and political life. The organization has helped establish, and provides continuing support for, Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) to empower people with disabilities to advocate for their political rights. Handicap International provides technical support and funding to these DPOs and raises awareness among the general public and local officials of the necessity for an inclusive political system. So far, this project has benefited more than 185,000 people with disabilities and 20 DPOs.
In Garowe, in Puntland, Handicap International is training village leaders to run road safety awareness campaigns for children, pedestrians, and drivers. The organization also runs workshops with the local authorities to define road safety policies.
THESE PROJECTS ARE POSSIBLE THANKS TO HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL DONORS, AND THE FOLLOWING FUNDING BODIES:
Handicap International's previous work in Somalia includes:
Handicap International worked with DPOs in Somaliland to improve the quality, accessibility, and durability of rehabilitation services for victims of armed conflicts. This project focused on training members of DPOs in leadership and management skills, providing financial support for civic education sessions, and supporting advocacy campaigns for inclusion. 12,000 people with disabilities benefited from this project each year.