In 2018, youth and community leaders from the Australian Somali community of West Heidelberg came together to carry out a series of fundraising activities to fund a Medical Mission in Somalia. This project was delivered in conjunction and with the support of the Somali Australian Council of Victoria’s Youth Leadership and Soccer Tour through Somalia in November of 2018 and Himilo Community Connect.
Fundraising events included a community barbeque and family day at Malahang Reserve, a student social event at La Trobe University through the La Trobe Somali Student Society and Dine4Dignity – a social dinner event held at Laila Receptions in Brunswick.
All funds raised went directly towards medical costs associated with 620 changing surgeries for people in the Somali cities of Baidoa, Kismayo and Mogadishu living with debilitating medical conditions. Eye surgeries were performed on 560 patients of all ages, to restore sight while 60 women living with Fistula underwent lifesaving repair surgeries.
The team also undertook the important work of capturing and reporting on the real impacts and human stories of the mission, to generate greater awareness of these issues and activate support, for a subsequent mission with a greater positive impact.