Young author and peace activist uses own voice and energy to help others

9 Sep 2017

Young author and peace activist uses own voice and energy to help others

She is a published author, activist and humanitarian worker who prides herself on serving the community.

Born and bred in Mogadishu, Sucdi Dahir Diriye has never known any other work besides engagement with civil society and mobilizing the community in times of conflict and famine.

She became active in civil society organizations more than nine years ago in the hope that she would obtain the necessary experience before embarking on a serious hunt for a paid job. But this was never to happen.

“Since I was young and couldn’t get a job without the requisite experience, I chose to get experience by investing my time and energy, however small, in my community. And this is why I am working as a volunteer including spending my own money,” Sucdi says of her involvement as an activist and humanitarian worker.

For at least seven years, she was the public face of the South-Central Somalia Non-State Actors Association (SOSCENSA), starting off as a volunteer and then moving on to work as a communications officer and also in the organization’s management office. It was during this time that she published two of her books, one a translation and the other a book she wrote entitled Maqaawiirtii Murtida or Legends of Wisdom, in English.

Through her organization, which has offices in 11 regions across Somalia, she became engaged in various activities, including the mobilization of resources and peacebuilding, as well as acting as the link among the international community, government officials and civil society.

Sucdi says she quit her job at SOSCENSA so that she could work more closely with the community as a volunteer in the humanitarian sector once again.

“I prefer working as a volunteer than a paying job when serving the community,” she says.  “The job I enjoy most is that which involves the community so that I can touch them directly.”

Sucdi was recently involved in mobilizing youth in Somalia and the diaspora to contribute resources to feed the most vulnerable members of society. She helped set up a campaign called “Help Your Brother” to reach the regions of the country hardest hit by the current drought, among them the Galgaduud region and areas under the control of al-Shabaab.

She speaks proudly of the campaign, which managed to mobilize resources and save many lives around the country.

“[Help Your Brother] was initiated by Somali youth to help their countrymen and women during the recent drought when we realized its effects and decided to play our role as youth,” she adds.

Sucdi says the robust campaign made extensive use of social media, mainly Facebook and Twitter, after launching a “Go Fund Me” online fundraiser.

The versatile woman says her activism and humanitarian work are driven by her commitment to make a positive contribution to Somalia’s future.

“Truly, my conscience and feelings are that I should always strive to help Somalia in whichever way I can,” the activist adds.

Having been born at a time of war and drought, Sucdi knows all about the negative effects of civil war and would never want to see Somalia engulfed by another major conflict.

“It is the reason why we all have to work hard and ensure that peace and stability prevail in Somalia,” she observes.