In Somalia, Humanity & Inclusion continues to run programs under the operating name "Handicap International."
Operating in Somaliland, Handicap International works with local disabled people’s organizations to promote the rights of people with disabilities, especially women and children. It improves political participation for people with disabilities, especially in the November 2017 elections and also works to ensure that vulnerable groups are included in emergency response efforts to the famine in West Africa. Handicap International currently employs 15 national staff.
In 1991, Somaliland proclaimed itself a state after three years of bloody civil war. The country is currently fairly calm and functional, but the security situation is fragile due to weak state control, ineffective law enforcement, and the proliferation of small arms and light weapons. Handicap International began its operations in Somaliland in 1992 by setting up a rehabilitation center in Hargeisa, the capital of the region.
Handicap International works with the government of Somaliland to improve the inclusion of people with disabilities in civic and political life. The organization has helped establish, and provides continuing support for, Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs) to empower people with disabilities to advocate for their political rights. Handicap International provides technical support and funding to these DPOs and raises awareness among the general public and local officials of the necessity for an inclusive political system. So far, this project has benefited more than 185,000 people with disabilities and 20 DPOs.
Handicap International promotes the inclusion of people with disabilities in programs deployed by humanitarian organizations responding to the famine in West Africa. Community volunteers are trained to support malnourished children, especially through stimulative physical therapy. The organization works to detect barriers to inclusion, raise humanitarian organizations' awareness and identify children with disabilities, individuals suffering from malnutrition and developmental delays.
Handicap International's previous work in Somalia includes:
Handicap International worked with DPOs in Somaliland to improve the quality, accessibility, and durability of rehabilitation services for victims of armed conflicts. This project focused on training members of DPOs in leadership and management skills, providing financial support for civic education sessions, and supporting advocacy campaigns for inclusion. 12,000 people with disabilities benefited from this project each year.
In Garowe, in Puntland, Handicap International trained village leaders to run road safety awareness campaigns for children, pedestrians, and drivers. The organization also ran workshops with the local authorities to define road safety policies.