In a second post from Somalia, Sol Guy tells how he and Somali-born rapper K’naan found themselves in Daadab, the world largest refugee camp. “The more I walked in the camp, the more it felt like a jail without bars,” he writes. K’naan’s business partner and manager, Sol Guy is also a National Geographic Emerging Explorer.
Sol and K’naan visited Somalia to raise awareness of the plight of millions of people starving in the country. (Read his first post — With K’naan in Somalia: Photos from the Edge.) Watch the video below for more information about their mission to Somalia:
Video shot and cut by Jordan Haro
By Sol Guy
Daadab, Somalia —I’ve tried for days to write about the time we recently spent in Daadab, the world largest refugee camp. Yet everything I wrote seemed trite and preachy, obvious or angry. What I can say is that this placed confused me. The term refugee is derived from the word refuge, which means a place of protection, shelter, and safety. It makes sense that a refugee camp would be an embodiment of all these things and more. Unfortunately, best intentions and a lack of foresight have allowed for the refugee camps of the world to become a tragic failure and a reflection of our collective incompetence.
With over 440,000 people, Daadab has more residents than the city of Atlanta, Georgia. However, this place was built to house 40,000 people. You depend on others for food and water, there are no schools, industry, or employment, and you’re unable to leave the city. The more I walked in the camp, the more it felt like a jail without bars.
Our ability to innovate when it comes to technology, war, and science knows no bounds. How is it that we’re unable to innovate when it comes to people who’ve escaped the worst of circumstance, to create not only a place of true refuge but a place of empowerment, and opportunity?
While there are many people doing extraordinary [work] as it relates to improving the human condition, we need to collectively re-think what it means to deliver “aid”. Seems that the traditional nonprofit is a nonprofit all the way around, especially for the people that will likely not profit from our well intentioned yet misguided policy-focused efforts. We are not without caring, we’re heart-driven beings, fueled by passion and possibility…It’s time to progress.
Provide Famine Relief in Somalia
Make a donation right now to provide famine relief in Somalia. Neighbors Initiative is a program to strengthen the fabric of local communities by uniting and mobilizing to provide desperately needed humanitarian relief in Somalia. It’s a partnership between the American Refugee Committee and the Somali community. We’ll put your donation to work immediately, bringing life-saving support to families in Somalia. Food, clean water, sanitation, shelter — people really need our help, Neighbors Initiative says on its website. Find out more.