Givology Staff's Blog

#Givchat Recap: The Abaarso School of Science & Technology

[b]Education in Somalia[/b]
Harry Lee from the Abaarso School of Science & Technology joined Givology for the #Givchat tweetchat series at 7 P.M. on Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014. The Abaarso School exists to nurture the academic, intellectual, and character development of promising Somali boys and girls in an effort to effectively and ethically advance Somali society. Somali has been thought of as one of the world’s most desolate areas since the Republic of Somalia collapsed two decades ago. Generations have grown up familiar with a war-torn society, and the impact of the problem has been felt around the world through piracy and terrorism. The Abaarso School intends to alter this course and fulfill the school’s mission by making a lasting change to the reality on the ground.
During the #Givchat, Harry excellently communicated Abaarso’s strategy to promote enduring change to the daily reality of life in Somaliland. Abaarso focuses on integrity, tenacity, and reasoning as a means of developing the whole child.
[b]Successes[/b]
Thus far, Abaarso has done well as it is the premier college preparatory school in the country. Abaarso has graduated its second class, and most students received scholarships for university education. For every dollar used to educate a student in the most recent class, $12 of worth of higher education scholarships were earned. Several students have taken $6k of education at Abaarso and turned it into $240k of scholarships, taking them through college in the United States.
[b]Importance of Community [/b]
Given such excellent results, Harry was asked to offer his advice to others in the education sphere. He stated, “We’re still learning just like everyone else, but certainly get your kids active in the community through volunteer work.” Harry was also asked what he was most proud of, and responded by referencing the placements of students from the inaugural class attending MIT, Georgetown, Amherst, and Oberlin. These students continue to excel because Abaarso has mostly American staff and maintains close contact with students while they are in the United States.
[b]Obstacles[/b]
When asked about struggles and difficulties at Abaarso, Harry identified English immersion as the hardest academic adjustment. Students typically have zero experience with English upon arrival but are conversational in three months. As Abaarso moves forward, the culture will continue to improve as the school has adopted a mentoring system for newer students and faculty.
The Abaarso School faces many challenges to ensure an optimal future for Somalis, but has made great strides in propelling and living its mission statement as evidenced by graduating two exceptional classes. Please continue to join #Givchat Wednesdays at 7 P.M. to learn more about incredible institutions and organizations like Abaarso.
Please also view our Storify for this #Givchat:
https://storify.com/givology/givchat-with-abaarso-tech

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