The Transylvania Times -

Arts Sale To Help Somalian Hope Village School - Brevard, NC


October 16, 2017

Courtesy Photoa

A primary student at the Hope Village School discusses how to solve a problem.

Long-time Brevard resident and retired educator Yangchin Yang is spearheading a local fundraiser for the Hope Village School in Somalia.

The event will be an Arts and Crafts Sale in her garden at 358 Morris Road on Saturday, Oct. 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Many hand-painted items and gently used miscellaneous will be sold.

"The money from the sale will be given entirely to the school to meet the needs of the students and their teachers," Yang said.

At Hope Village, located outside of Mogadishu, the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation provides health care, education, job training, food and water to thousands of Somalis.

It began as a rural health clinic founded by Dr. Abdi, one of Somalia's first female gynecologists, on her family's farmlands. Over time, Abdi transformed the clinic into the 400-bed Dr. Hawa Abdi General Hospital, which now sees more than 150 patients a day.

Dr. Abdi's daughter, Dr. Deqo Mohamed, took over as CEO of the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation in 2010 and has prioritized developing a sustainable education system in Hope Village. The village now has a primary and, more recently, a high school, sustained by outside donations and contributions from the community.

"The women are helping to rebuild their war-torn country and one way of doing so is through education of the youth in Somalia," Yang said.

She said she had the pleasure of meeting with Dr. Abdi and Dr. Mohamed recently in Atlanta.

"They had just been to Harvard so the mother could accept her honorary degree in recognition for her accomplishments," said Yang, who taught in several U.S. schools and abroad. "I was in awe that in spite of all the challenges – famine, war – they sacrifice their lives, it's incredible."

Dr. Abdi has won numerous distinctions and awards, including the John Jay Justice Award, Vital Voices' Women of the Year Award in 2013, and a nomination for the Noble Peace Prize in 2012.

The Waqaf-Diblawe Primary School has more than 800 students and 10 teachers. The brand new Dr. Hawa Abdi High School is run by six teachers and currently has around 200 students who take classes in mathematics, chemistry, biology, English, Arabic, religious studies, and geography.

Dr. Mohamed wants to educate the children of Hope Village to be empowered citizens of Somalia.

To that end, she asked the Orville H. Schell Jr. Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School to create a human rights and conflict resolution curriculum for Hope Village's new high school.

A group of six Yale students began researching and writing the curriculum for the school in October 2015, drawing inspiration for content and activities from a range of preexisting peace and human rights curricula.

Courtesy Photo

A Somalian teacher leads a class through a lesson using chalkboard at Hope Village School.

The curriculum includes modules on identity and self-representation, human rights principles and law, and post-conflict resolution. Students will not only learn important concepts, but also they will develop public speaking and leadership skills.

The Yale team is now working with a team of educators in Atlanta to create a professional development program for Hope Village's teachers to become comfortable with the pedagogical methods that the curriculum requires, such as facilitating activity-based learning and building an inclusive classroom.

All contributions to the foundation will help the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation deliver this curriculum and ensure the success of the Hope Village schools.

Anyone unable to attend the fundraiser but would like to help can contribute online to the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation at


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