Somaliland Youth Development Association (SOYDA) is a non-governmental organisation established in 2001 by a group of young intellectuals who felt the need to mobilise young people in Somaliland to engage with development issues.
SOYDA’s mandate is to address the needs and issues facing the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in society, mainly young people, women, children, the poor, and internally displaced persons (IDPs). SOYDA does this through community mobilisation, capacity building and policy advocacy.
Since its inception, SOYDA has been actively involved in implementing programmes working on:
- human rights and child protection;
- youth empowerment and non-formal education;
- humanitarian response;
- peacebuilding and conflict prevention;
- good governance and democracy; and
- population movement and migration programmes.
Some of the projects SOYDA successfully implemented include:
- the creation of AYAHA IDP camp training centre for skill training and teaching of non-formal education;
- assisting children in conflict with the law in Somaliland detention centers and providing non-formal education to adult inmates;
- the creation of Child Rights Clubs within primary schools in Hargiesa;
- awareness campaigns on harmful cultural values and practices against children; and
- creating public awareness on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
SOYDA's peacebuilding work
In the area of peacebuilding, SOYDA works to promote conflict resolution between communities to enhance national cohesion and stability. Activities under this program include:
- organising peace forums to promote a culture of peace and conflict resolution among young people;
- preparing public dialogues and symposiums about the importance of peace, and the contribution of youth to durable security and the prevention of violence and insecurity; and
- organising around, and celebrating, the International Day of Peace.