On the one hand, the project is intended for SGBV survivors with the aim of offering them a safe refuge via women’s shelters in Hargeisa, Burco und Borama. In the women’s shelters, comprehensive services such as medical first aid, decent accommodation with board, and psycho-therapeutic support are available. In addition, the women can learn to read and write, or learn a trade and thus gain some independence.
On the other hand, the aim is also to approach traditional support systems such as clans, so that further acts of violence and abuse against women and girls can be prevented in the future. Government agencies, such as representatives of the Ministry of Social Affairs or the police, will also be offered further training: This includes awareness-raising campaigns about SGBV, training for police officers on how to treat SGBV survivors, and possibilities of prevention.
Furthermore, the project targets female students in order to make them aware of SGBV and of women’s rights. In discussion groups, female students are to be encouraged to recognise and fight all forms of SGBV, so that in future, they can act as role models both in the private and the political sphere. The project reaches more than 6,000 direct beneficiaries, and approximately 20,000 indirect beneficiaries.
Sexual and gender-based violence is widespread in Somaliland, although most cases are not reported. Currently, WAAPO has to turn away on average 15 women a month because the three women’s shelters have reached the limit of their capacity. Against this background, Caritas Switzerland wants to enter into a long-term partnership with WAAPO in order to be able to extend the protection services for SGBV survivors and to support WAAPO in its work as the local first responder.