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6th Annual Fundraising Reception.


Ottawa, Canada - Last week (April 23, 2005), Awdal Development Organization held its 6th annual fundraising reception. Close to $2500 were collected and although attendance was hampered by heavy rain, the event was nevertheless a resounding success.

Awdal Development Organization (ADO) and its partner on the ground, Rural Education And Development (READ), were both created to provide basic education to the rural communities of the region of Awdal (Northern Somalia). Both organizations function as an extension of the community they serve and operate on the premise of first among equals. Any one person can and has the opportunity to contribute to all aspects of the activities in which ADO and READ are engaged.

Established in the year 2001 through a collaborative effort of inhabitants of Awdal and natives of the region now living abroad, ADOís purpose is to help provide a constant source of income for the programs initiated by READ. On the other hand READís principal function is to built, operate and maintain a network of schools in the rural communities of the region, in order to ensure that children living in these communities have access to basic education. READ was establish on July 24th, 2000.
The welfare of the rural communities in Awdal is crucial to the rest of the region. Not only do theses communities sustain the agricultural and livestock productions of the region, but they also serve as a bridge between the nomadic segments of the population and the urban centres where a large portion of the population resides

ADO and READ believe that in the short run, access to education in the rural communities will provide the opportunity for parents to keep their children at home instead of sending to the urban centers for schooling, which also contributes to the population exodus. Furthermore, literacy will improve their access to information and increase their options and abilities to diversify agricultural production into higher value horticulture. Finally, young girls, who are often not given priority when family decisions are made about which child to send to an urban centre for schooling, will have more opportunities to attend school.
In the longer run, a better educated population will be better equipped in organizing its economy, controlling the trade on which it is dependent, and thereby reducing the severity and frequency of repetitive food shortages while reducing the population stress on poorly equipped urban centres.



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