There’s an old Somali saying that goes, far kaliya fool ma dhaqdo; one finger itself cannot wash a face. This ancient Somali proverb is alluding to the importance of community; you can’t wash your face with one single finger, it takes all fingers in unison to adequately wash theface. A person cannot thrive on their own, they need the help of a strong community in order to excel. SAYF is determined to build this strong community to serve as a platform for Somalis across the nation, as well as reuniting the diaspora.
There’s a growing problem affecting Somalis across the globe, and it is rooted in the lack of foundation Somalis have established for themselves when coming to a new area. Somalis have proven to be a resilient people – whether you left the country out of your own choice, or fleeing from the war, you came to this foreign land and built something for yourself.
You adapted, you changed, and you succeeded. However, the effects have been harder on some more than others – both the parents, and the kids. Factors from the language barrier, to raising kids who aren’t entirely sure of their identity, to a loss of culture all play a part in diminishing a person’s spirit, and making it hard to surround yourself with a community that has everyone’s best interest in mind. Sure there’s time to meet up after Friday prayer, or chat in the parking lot of your local duksi (Quran School), but there isn’t a space to discuss financial issues with a trusted advisor who knows your background, or a tutoring program to go to where everyone around you looks and talks like you, and understands your story.
If we hope to see a future for Somalis back home and abroad, it is critical we build communities for ourselves that are strong, and healthy. SAYF has created spaces suitable for all parts of the community, from counseling, to sports, to the arts. With the help of everyone, construct a platform for ourselves that will sustain our communities for decades.