Youth Evening for PlayOut and Link up and learn

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On Monday, 15th of June HIRDA organized an interactive evening featuring debates, quiz and networking session.  HIRDA collaborated with Somali Student Network (SNN) which is a network created by Somali students to connect Somali students in Dutch universities and colleges.  The aim of this event was to establish a network between Somali Dutch students and the newcomers. Also raise awareness about the development of Somalia among students.  This event was the latest activity of project Link up and learn.

HIRDA Foundation is committed to the development of the Somali community in the Netherlands in the areas of education, health, sports integration, peace building and women empowerment.  The evening started with introductory presentation about HIRDA and the organized partners.  After an informative presentation a constructive debate which addressed three issues followed. Discussed issues were connected to the Somali community in the Netherlands.

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The first statement was, Somalis don’t invest into the society they live in because they can’t settle anywhere for long term.  This statement came, as some studies suggest that almost half of the entire Dutch Somali community moved to the United Kingdom. The opinions differ in this statement as some agreed with it while others argued that Dutch Somalis move to the United Kingdom because they have better chance to start their own business there.  However, some expressed the necessity to invest in the country you live in.  Secondly, the group discussed the importance of extracurricular activities and making it mandatory in schools. Majority of the participants thought that such activities are beneficial for child’s development. Final statement was, Child beating contributes to a good Upbringing, which majority of the participants were opposed. According to the participants violence is not a solution.

After a quick break, the session convened with quiz questions.  The participants were divided into small groups.  Where each group had to answer the questions in 30 seconds and the quiz was about the history and geography of Somalia and Netherlands. Seven groups in total have participated in the quiz. Group six emerged as the winners; therefore, they had to compete with each other so that the prize will be given to a one winner.  A student named Muna won the prize. 

Overall, participants were very excited and enthusiastic about this evening.  Everyone actively participated in all activities.  The participants recommended that similar activities should be organized in the future so that Somalis learn from each other.

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