The origins of the Foundation for Somalia existence are related to humanitarian activities for the community of African countries, in particular Somalia and Kenya. Throughout the years of its activities, the Foundation for Somalia with great care supports people of African origin who, as a result of refugee or forced or economic migration, find their way to Poland. These are citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, or Somalia, who are often repressed demanding people who are covered by a special form of support. The Foundation runs a kind of information center for people coming to Poland, run by an international team of specialists, intercultural assistants, and volunteers. One should distinguish here consultation and information points providing individual integration, legal and professional advice, advice on educational opportunities in Poland, as well as psychological support, Polish language courses at various levels of advancement with elements of culture and integration activities, access to specialist information and knowledge on about various aspects of organizing life in Poland (including guidebooks and guides for foreigners, brochures, leaflets) and finally financial / material support.
An example of such activities is the project “We support foreigners in Mazovia”, implemented jointly with the Foundation for Foreign Language Learning “Linguae Mundi” – Project Leader and the Polish Migration Forum Foundation, and co-financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) Program and the state budget.
On the other hand, our task is to implement activities supporting the development and integration of the African Diaspora, strengthening the sense of unity (thematic meetings, debates, exhibitions, film screenings), cultural adaptation, and improving the quality of life in the local community. Importantly, through a project to support migrant women experiencing gender-based violence, the Foundation for Somalia supports African women who are struggling with the problem of violence before coming to Poland. The place where Beneficiaries from African countries receive permanent aid is the Multicultural Center.
A large group of African men and women who are Beneficiaries of the Foundation’s programs and projects and cooperate with us are students, e.g. from Nigeria, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Cameroon. These groups participate in international projects aimed at professional development and intercultural integration, co-financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the European Commission under Erasmus + program, incl. COMPE4Mi – “Tools for professionals to assess and develop migrants’ competences”; MIVA – “Migrants’ Integration through Volunteering Activities” and HelpMi – Helping migrants to integrate in work environments”, as well as other local funders.
It is worth noting that the goal of the Foundation is to promote intercultural dialogue, integration of migrants with the host society as well as development and humanitarian aid, including cross-sectoral cooperation to improve the living conditions of Africans and refugees in neighboring countries, educational campaigns for adults and children, supporting volunteers and experts working for the migrant community from African countries.
In the face of recent events – the war in Ukraine – the Foundation for Somalia Team is taking immediate steps to provide emergency relief. We pay special attention to people of non-Ukrainian origin who do not have Ukrainian citizenship, including Africans. It is estimated that 100,000 foreigners of non-Ukrainian origin have arrived in Poland to this day. Our goal is both immediate and long-term help to refugees and refugees from Ukraine of African descent, including students who escaped from the war.