We operate in South Central Somalia, a region facing a complex and multifaceted humanitarian crisis characterized by conflict, climate-related shocks, communicable disease outbreaks, and fragile social protection mechanisms. In response to this crisis, STS International Solidarity has identified six thematic areas to address the urgent and pressing needs of the population.
Through these thematic areas, STS International Solidarity works to address the urgent and pressing needs of vulnerable communities in South Central Somalia. The organization’s integrated approach recognizes the interconnected nature of the challenges facing the region and aims to build the resilience of communities through sustainable and holistic interventions.
Food Security and Livelihoods
Livelihoods and food security are critical components of sustainable development, and STS is committed to improving them. Our organization believes that individuals and communities should have access to basic needs such as food, water, and shelter, and we work to empower them to achieve sustainable livelihoods and food security.
We promote sustainable agriculture practices, provide training in agribusiness and entrepreneurship, and support small-scale farmers to improve their yields and incomes. We also work to strengthen market linkages and provide access to credit and financial services, enabling communities to create sustainable livelihoods.
In addition, we recognize the importance of nutrition and the role it plays in promoting healthy and productive communities. We provide education and training on nutrition and health, as well as access to clean water and sanitation facilities.Through these efforts, we aim to create resilient communities that can withstand shocks and stresses, such as climate change, conflict, and economic downturns. Our approach is participatory, community-driven, and sustainable, ensuring that the impact of our work is lasting and transformative.
Democracy and Human Rights
At STS International Solidarity, we believe that democracy and human rights are fundamental to sustainable development. We work to promote and protect these values, particularly for marginalized and vulnerable communities.
Our organization advocates for the protection of human rights, particularly the rights of women, children, and minorities. We support the development of civil society and the strengthening of democratic institutions, promoting inclusive and participatory decision-making processes.
We also work to raise awareness of human rights abuses, and we provide legal assistance to those whose rights have been violated. We collaborate with local and international partners to develop and implement policies that promote human rights and strengthen democratic processes.
Through our efforts, we aim to create societies that are inclusive, just, and equitable, where everyone can participate in decision-making processes and access their basic rights. We believe that promoting democracy and human rights is essential to creating sustainable and peaceful communities.
Under these thematic areas, we aim to strengthen the institutions responsible for ensuring democratic governance, respect for human rights, and accountability. STS International Solidarity supports the development of civic education programs, training of community leaders, and advocacy for the protection of human rights.
At STS International Solidarity, we recognize that access to inclusive, quality, equitable and sustainable education is a fundamental human right and a critical component of sustainable development. We work to ensure that all children, particularly those from marginalized and vulnerable communities, have access to education that is inclusive, equitable, and of high quality.
We work to improve access to education by supporting the development of school infrastructure, providing scholarships, and promoting community involvement in education. We also advocate for policies that support access to education, particularly for girls and children from marginalized communities.
In addition to improving access to education, we focus on improving the quality of education. We provide teacher training, develop, and disseminate educational materials, and support the integration of technology into the learning process.
Finally, we believe that education must be equitable, providing equal opportunities for all. We work to ensure that education systems do not discriminate against children based on their gender, ethnicity, religion, or socio-economic status. We also work to ensure that education is relevant to the needs of the community, promoting entrepreneurship and vocational training.
Through our efforts, we aim to create a world where every child has access to quality education, providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to reach their full potential and contribute to the development of their communities.
We focus on increasing access to quality education for children and young people in Somalia. STS International Solidarity supports the establishment of schools, the training of teachers, and the provision of learning materials.
Health, Nutrition, and WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene)
At STS International Solidarity, we recognize that access to quality healthcare and nutrition is essential to reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity. We work to ensure that all individuals, particularly women and children, have access to healthcare and nutrition that is of high quality and that can improve their health and well-being.
We believe that access to healthcare is a fundamental human right, and we work to address the challenges that prevent people from accessing healthcare services. We support the development of healthcare infrastructure, provide training to healthcare professionals, and advocate for policies that promote access to healthcare services.
We work to ensure that all individuals, particularly women and children, have access to healthcare that is of high quality and that can reduce maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity.
We believe that access to healthcare is not only a matter of physical access to healthcare facilities, but also of affordability, availability, and quality of healthcare services. Therefore, we work to address these challenges by supporting the development of healthcare infrastructure, providing training to healthcare professionals, and advocating for policies that promote access to healthcare services.
We also focus on improving maternal and child health by promoting access to family planning services, improving the quality of antenatal and postnatal care, and increasing the availability of skilled birth attendants. We also work to raise awareness of the importance of maternal and child health and promote community involvement in healthcare.We believe that healthcare systems must be responsive to the needs of the community, providing culturally appropriate services and integrating traditional and modern healthcare practices. We work to promote community-based healthcare interventions that are sustainable and effective in reducing maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity.
In addition to improving access to healthcare, we also focus on improving nutrition, particularly during pregnancy and early childhood. We provide education and training on nutrition and health, as well as access to clean water and sanitation facilities, to reduce the risk of malnutrition and related health problems. We also work to improve the availability and affordability of nutritious food, particularly for families who are living in poverty.
Somali women, children, and men are already facing serious threats to their physical safety and other life-threatening protection risks. Children, in particular, bear the biggest brunt of the ongoing conflict. The conflict has displaced 2.6 million people across Somalia, and many children have been separated from their families and friends. The longer a child is separated from their family, the more difficult it is to locate them, and the more at risk they are to violence, economic and sexual exploitation, abuse, and potential trafficking.
In addition to the impact of conflict, the worsening drought and subsequent food scarcity risk are increasing these threats and risks whilst exacerbating existing ones. Far too often, children are driven from their homes by poverty and lack of opportunities, hoping to find better lives elsewhere. They face dangers during their travels and are vulnerable to different forms of violence and exploitation as they embark on dangerous migration routes in search of alternative livelihoods.
The rate of female genital mutilation in Somalia is estimated at 98 percent, and child marriage is also prevalent. These harmful practices carry serious health consequences, increase the likelihood of dying during childbirth, and rob girls of their childhoods, increasing the likelihood of early pregnancy and school dropout.
In light of the above, we work with local communities, government authorities, community and religious leaders and other stakeholder to address the protection needs of vulnerable individuals, especially IDPs, women and children, from violence, exploitation, and abuse. These needs include acts of violence, exploitation, abuse, coercion, and deprivation, especially in situations of conflict, displacement, and through violations of International Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
We provide support for the establishment of safe spaces, training of community leaders, and advocacy for the protection of human rights. However, the existing protection services are inadequate, especially in remote and warring communities, and there is a widespread failure to promote and protect the rights of children. Therefore, it is crucial to continue to prioritize protection in Somalia and work towards improving the situation.
Environment and Climate
Somalia is a country that is highly vulnerable to natural disasters, with an estimated 43% of its land area exposed to flooding and droughts. In addition, climate-change related desertification and poor agricultural and pastoral land-use practices such as deforestation and overgrazing are also prevalent. This changing environment is affecting the country’s economic and social development, particularly as Somalia’s economy relies heavily on natural resources like pastureland.
To address these challenges, STS International Solidarity is working with the government authorities, local communities and other partners to build the resilience of vulnerable communities to the impacts of climate change in Somalia. The organization believes that by increasing awareness and understanding of climate change, strengthening adaptive capacity, promoting sustainable natural resource management practices, and enhancing institutional capacity, vulnerable communities will be better able to cope with the impacts of climate change. This, in turn, will contribute to poverty reduction, food security, and sustainable natural resource management in the target areas.
To achieve its objectives, STS International Solidarity focuses on promoting sustainable environmental practices and building the resilience of communities to climate-related shocks. The organization supports the development of community-based natural resource management plans, provision of alternative livelihoods, and awareness-raising campaigns on climate change adaptation and mitigation. By working in this thematic area, STS International Solidarity is contributing to the long-term resilience and sustainability of Somalia’s natural resources and communities. We focus on promoting sustainable environmental practices and building the resilience of communities to climate-related shocks. STS International Solidarity supports the development of community-based natural resource management plans, provision of alternative livelihoods, and awareness-raising campaigns on climate change adaptation and mitigation.