'Why Somalia?'

This is a question we get asked more than any other. 

Though Happy Hearts is expanding into new territories, the heart of our work still remains in one of the most hostile countries in the world; a place affected by nearly one of the most notorious terrorist organizations in the world, who still controls vast portions of the country. 

It’s these complexities of terrorism, piracy and ongoing conflict that make the majority of Somalia very hard to access. As always in war zones, the vulnerable suffer the most. According to a recent report, children comprise almost fifty percent of militia fighters and school enrollment rates are some of the lowest. Surprisingly, there are very few organizations working specifically with children. Yet it’s these very realities that compel us to do what we do. And it’s especially when we look into the faces of Hamza, Mohamed and Abdullahi that we realize it’s all worth it. They are worth it! Some of these orphaned boys who lived on the streets could barely even write their names and now they are flourishing in our home and excelling in high school! What an incredible joy!

Though we regularly face the stark realities of living and working in a warzone, we also enjoy and celebrate the vibrancy and color of the Somali culture. The warmth, resilience, passion and entrepreneurship of a people who have faced so much has been incredible to watch. Time and again, in the midst of destruction and uncertainty they position themselves to thrive. We are learning so much from each other!