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Young British Somalis: How I'm helping my country's famine appeal

Friday March 17, 2017
By Abdirahim Saeed

"We can't live in this bubble and not acknowledge the blessings we have been afforded moving to the UK."

Just one of the reasons young British Somalis have been raising money to help those at risk of starvation.
Sixteen million people across Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan need food, water and medical treatment, according to the UK's Disasters and Emergency Committee.

Newsbeat's been hearing how Somalis living in the UK are helping.

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Fatima's climbed Mount Snowden, raising just over £1,000.

"I'm from a small village in the Sanaag region and it's one of the areas affected. So I have a personal attachment to this," she says.

"I can't stand for youth apathy and disinterest. We can't live in this bubble and not acknowledge the blessings we have been afforded moving to the UK."

Fatima wants those in power to take more action.

"The Somali government needs to really think about mitigating the effects of severe weather conditions in the future and how it will work towards the UN's sustainable development goals”.

AbdulKadir's a third-year medicine student. He's also vice-president of the Somali society at University College London (UCL).

For the past month, he's been leading fundraising events, which included getting £40,000 during a single night at uni.

While he appreciated the recent media coverage of the drought, he thinks newsrooms are still getting their priorities wrong.

"I had a breaking news alert on my phone the other day about a pirate hijacking off the coast of Somalia. Meanwhile, the drought has been happening for months."

'It's good to see people are talking about this now'

AbdulKadir auctions a signed Pele shirt

Zak's 27 and is an actor who began his career as a YouTuber.

"I've been trying to use my platforms and fan base to raise awareness of what's happening in Somalia," he says.

He's also pleased to see the drought in east Africa getting a bigger profile on media outlets around the world.

"I have been hearing for months about people struggling to find water and being forced, by their circumstances, to move into camps.

"So it's good to see people are talking about it now. I just hope an all-out famine doesn't become a reality.”

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