Somali Women Development Centre is a non-governmental and non-profit making organization that was established mid 2000. SWDC is working to improve the situation of women in Somalia. SWDC’s guiding vision is the belief that, with support, women can become empowered to make positive changes in their lives. Somali Women Development Centre strives to minimize the number of women who are subjected to violence by empowering them through access to knowledge and greater economic independence.
SWDC is engaged in Human Rights protection with focus on vulnerable groups through lobbying and advocacy as well as peace building and community security through providing free legal aid service in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders in order to reduce all kinds of violence in Somalia.
SWDC wants to be premier organization that foresees creation of society where women are actively involved where they have equal access to resources and where areas of advocacy and policy influence their own betterment, their families and their communities. SWDC creates an environment where Somali women are free from all kinds of human rights violations.
4. Participatory decision making
5. Non discrimination 6. Commitment
7. Incorporation of Islamic teaching and positive Somali Culture
• To protect human rights
• To facilitate access to justice
• To enhance community security
• To provide psycho-social support for survivors
• To promote peace building process in target areas
• To provide support and capacity building to the PLHIV
• To provide capacity building to the staff
• To empower women livelihood programs
• To empower women/young girls with education in order to reduce illiteracy rate in the community
• To encourage the participation of Somali Women in politics, social, economic and decision making.
• To counsel and support victim of human rights violation.
• To assist women in setting up income generating activities and resettlement of IDPs.
SWDC coverage areas
The organization operates in North Eastern Kenya and regions including South/Central Somalia (Hiran, Bay, Bakool, Middle/Lower Shabelle, Benadir, Galgaduud and Mudug.)
Areas of Intervention
Human Rights Promotion: Meant to address the women right education from different perspectives, SWDC established a Human rights & documentation centre that performs several activities such as the documentation of human rights abuse afflicted on Women, children and affected relatives.
Advocacy: SWDC use both international and national media groups as tools for advocacy and public campaign to address issues that affect the most vulnerable groups. Another form of advocacy strategy used by SWDC includes travels abroad to be the voice of the voiceless and bring their plight to light. It is through this sort of advocacy that we have been able to receive important figures from international community to our offices.
Prevention and response: SWDC believes that, in order to prevent violence, communities must be strengthened. It is through preventive steps such as awareness, outreach activities and information sharing that SWDC is able to provide survivors of gender based violence with adequate service and support. SWDC also provides response mechanisms to survivors such psychosocial support, medical referral, legal aid assistance and livelihood support as well as relocation and shelter.
Rehabilitation:The community based rehabilitation initiative was the first of its kind in Somalia, offering professional support for women with special needs even before any government programs existed. CBR creates an environment where women have equal rights and mothers of disabled children have the fullest access to resources. Social integration of disabled people is the goal of this program.
HIV/AIDS prevention & stigma reduction: Aimed at educating women on the modes of transmission, prevention and cure for the HIV/AIDS related illnesses through women to women initiative approach in order to reduce the spread of the disease. SWDC also provides testing, counselling, medical and nutritional support for the HIV/AIDs clients in order to reintegrate them with the society.
Legal aid assistance and representation : SWDC provides legal aid to economically disadvantaged people and minority groups who are detained in police stations and main prison in Mogadishu. SWDC also organizes workshops, forums and radio debates aimed at increasing the awareness of the community toward individual rights.
Peace building and security: One of the most important initiatives that SWDC undertakes is the peace building and security programs. It through this that SWDC established the women neighbourhood watch system, community policing, youth for change and community conversation scheme with the sole objectives of bringing communities together to resolve conflicts and to contribute to the effort towards sustainable peace in Somalia.
Food and NFI distributions: SWDC in close collaboration with international agencies and Somali Diaspora distribute food, Non Food Items, dignity kit and solar lanterns to the IDPs affected by both manmade and natural disasters.