Assistance through an organized diaspora

The enormous amount of aid provided by expats in the world has begun to attract the attention of major aid actors. One such group is the Somali diaspora, which is estimated to send SEK 11 billion back to Somalia every year. This amount is far greater than the overall bi-and multilateral assistance to the country.

In addition to resources in pure money the diaspora also assists with knowledge and experience of development issues. Forum Syd has since many years understood the great potential, participation and importance of diasporas for the reconstruction of Somalia. That is why we run a programme in which the Swedish-Somali civil society can apply for grants for development projects. Recently a dialogue meeting was held in Stockholm and more open meetings will be held in Gothenburg, Malmö and Örebro next week.

Abdirahim Mahamoud Foto: Agnes Nygren

“I have been involved from the beginning and helped to design the program together with Forum Syd since it started 2009. I am here today to exchange ideas and get information about the regulatory framework for grant management. In Somalia I work for human rights, gender equality and against sexual violence. We were there to drive through the first legislation against sexual crimes last year, says Abdirahim Mahamoud.

Nasteho Weheliye, who was also in Stockholm, has been running a development project for three years for women’s sexual and reproductive rights.

“The project is called International Women’s Lift and aims to increase gender equality. The advantage of providing assistance through the diaspora is that we have a great contextual understanding of a complex country. I am proud to be part of helping women in Somalia. In addition to the project supported through the Forum Syd, I have now also started fruit cultivation, as a health promotion, also as a source of women’s livelihood.”

Nasteho Weheliye
Foto: Agnes Nygren

The program has grown a lot over the years and since 2015, Forum Syd has received 183 applications of which 70 was approved.

If you are part of a Swedish-Somali association and have ideas on how you together with a local organisation in Somalia could improve the situation in the country by contributing to one of the following goals: Increased awareness of sustainable livelihoods and the sustainable use of natural resources and related rights such as food, water, waste, energy and sanitation.

Women and girls have increased understanding and knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and rights and increased participation in civil society organisations. Men, women, girls and boys have greater awareness of which processes are reducing sexual and gender violence.

People living under marginalised conditions and civil society organisations have increased their participation and dialogue with authorities. They have increased the understanding of being able to enforce their rights, participation in democratic processes, decision-making and mechanisms that may require accountability. Responsibility holders have increased their understanding of the rights-based perspective.
You very welcome to attend one of the meetings in:
Gothenburg 7 March at 16-19, Folkets Hus, Olof Palmes plats 3
Lund 8 March at 16-19, Paradisgatan 5, Hus M, Room 128
Örebro 5 April at 16-19, Föreningarnas Hus, Rum Ateljén, Slottsgatan 13A

To attend please register to Kalle Bergkvist at

Forum Syd