This year’s visit began with an introduction by all the students and staff of HIRDA who were present at the meeting. As part of the meeting Mr. Kwaku Owusu Afriyie gave a presentation on the background of HIRDA and the work it has done so far in Somalia. He touched upon issues such as HIRDA’s achievements and challenges and explained how the organisation works towards engaging the Diaspora in the development of their own country.
Following a brief coffee break, a video on some of the projects HIRDA has carried out in Somalia was also shown to the students.
The final session of the meeting gave students the opportunity to raise their questions about HIRDA’s role in the development of Somalia and other issues on migrant participation in development.
The students, led by Dr. Lothar Smith showed a keen interest in HIRDA, its position as a Diaspora NGO in the development sector, and its approach towards issues such as gender, ethnicity and empowerment. HIRDA was represented by Fatumo Farah (Director HIRDA), Mohammed Egal (Chairperson of HIRDA), as well as Mira Markova and Muna Handulle (staff), who together with Kwaku tried to answer all questions and stimulate a discussion.
HIRDA is very happy to have had the chance to once again welcome the Development Studies students of Radboud University and hopes to extend this tradition to visits from other Universities in the future. We consider this an excellent opportunity for students to learn more about HIRDA, our projects and initiatives and the involvement of the Somali Diaspora in development.