“Now we have bought the land together, but not yet the money together to build. Because what do we need a lot!
We knew it for sure. If we want to do something for the state of Puntland in Somalia, it must be for the young people. After all, it can not be tolerated that all these young people drown on their way to Europe. And it is also unacceptable that all those talented young people will not make a contribution to beautiful Puntland. It must be for the young people.
Let’s build a center. A youth center. Where the youth of Garowe makes their homework, learns with the computer, reads books from the library and watches films. Where young people have debates, are coached and perhaps learn a trade. And where they exercise together.
But what an ambition! ‘And’, says Wilde Ganzen, ‘your idea is wonderful, but how do you make this center self-sufficient? You do not want to fundraise in the coming years to keep a youth center running? We do not think that is a good plan. ‘ Wild Geese is right. Let’s make the youth center so big and so good that we can also rent out spaces, offices for NGO’s for example. And create rooms where conferences can be organized. And a canteen and good toilets. This ensures income. Let’s build a two-story building. With a nice roof terrace. There are not many of these buildings in the capital of Puntland, in Garowe, but we are going to do it.
One and a half tons
And now we have a nice big piece of land, but what do we need a lot of money! Fortunately, there is a good partner, a contractor and a good architect in Puntland. We have every confidence in them. The architect has made a design and it looks really beautiful. And Wilde Ganzen does with us! But in these times a ton and a half are getting together is the biggest challenge for us. Bit by bit something comes in. Five thousand euros from here, two thousand from there, once ten thousand and then we find a fund that is willing to contribute forty thousand euros. This gives strength, this gives courage.
We are going to start
We can no longer leave the plot empty, there are now so many Somalis and others involved in the purchase and now nothing happens. We have been licensed for months and we seem to be doing nothing. Let’s start with the construction. We almost have half of the money. Yes, we are going to work.
I would like to say,
but what a pressure for us! We are looking for new fund yard roads. We approach concrete associations, cement magazines, we ask young people in the Netherlands to help, we even start a project Tell and Teach to start an exchange with young people from there and here, we make information films with young people in Garowe and with Somalis in the Netherlands and we recruit. Sometimes against better judgment, sometimes against will and thanks. Construction is well advanced, with no electrical appliances working hard in the heat.
And then the money is clean. Construction is coming to a standstill for several months. It looks dreary. There is no day when we are not involved in fundraising for the youth center in Puntland. The young people in Somalia unite and look forward to their own place. Now Somalis from other countries are also joining in and thinking along. Money comes from America. Slowly but surely we can build again, brick by brick. And if we then get another big gift after eighteen months, we can continue until the end. The most beautiful building of Garowe is being phased out. And the young people? They are eager!
Story by Ms Wies Kalsbeek (www.uitdeverf.nl)