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Somali Youth Leader Speaks at Clinton Global Initiative

Video courtesy of the Clinton Global Initiative

By Megan Burks

Somali Youth League of San Diego Chairman Abdimalik Buul travelled to the nation’s capital last month to participate in the annual Clinton Global Initiative University meeting. Buul contributed to a panel discussion on famine in the Horn of Africa.

He joined Amanda Lindhout, founder and executive director of The Global Enrichment Foundation, Deqo Mohamed, chief executive officer of the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation, and Paul Weisenfeld of the USAID Bureau for Food Security.

Buul, who travelled to Somalia last year to distribute aid raised by Somali youth in City Heights, stressed the importance of finding sustainable solutions for preventing famine in the future.

“Famines are man made,” Buul said. “[They’re] different from a drought. You can have a bad season. Crops can fail. Livestock cannot produce. But famines are man made. If they are man made, they are preventable.”

Buul said it’s important to perfect and heed drought warning systems and to raise people out of poverty.

He said the Somali Youth League will shift gears to mentor college-bound Somalis here in San Diego so they can link up with students in Africa to create long-term change in the Horn of Africa.

“As youth, I think we should utilize our skills–what we learn in the classroom and outside the classroom–and partner up with these NGOs and go back and do work that’s sustainable and empowering to these people.”

The Somali Youth League is made up of more than 70 students and young professionals. The group has raised about $40,000 since last summer to help victims of the famine, which claimed the lives more than 30,000 children.

The Clinton Global Initiative, founded by former President Bill Clinton, brings together global leaders to discuss and work on solving global issues. Its CGI University brings college students and youth organizations into the conversation.


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