The role of Human Rights lobbyist have been strong to the defenseless and powerless people in the public arena. These humanitarian works for freedom have helped numerous individuals, who indeed, have no say when the need arises.
One of these people is Somalian Ilwad Elman. Since her affection for reconciliation and equal opportunities began, she has been sensational in her excursion, and has been answerable for planning and administering the Elman Peace and Human Rights Center’s projects with an expansive portfolio which centers around:
Protection Of Civilians
Peace and Security
In fact, the passionate director of programs and development of her human rights centre, has pushed her to get out the word of the significance of common liberties. I surmise you recollect the decimating war that occurred in Somalia in 2010? Yes, it was entirely horrendous! During that time, Ilwad got back from Canada to Somalia while the conflict actually seethed heavily.
At the time, most of Mogadishu and South Central Regions of Somalia were lost to the control of the Al-Qaeda connected psychological militant group Al-Shabaab. Ilwad Elman stayed in Somalia from that point forward, helping to establish the main attack emergency community for overcomers of sexual and sex based brutality, planning mediations focused on security sector reforms to make a comprehensive space for women in peace building, and development programs for the demobilization and restoration of child soldiers and grown-ups deserting from furnished groups for their financial strengthening, recovery and reintegration.
Ilwad is additionally a advocate for the Kofi Annan foundation’s most recent initiative ‘Extremely Together’, where she and 9 other youth leaders under the mentorship of Mr. Kofi Annan are Preventing Violent Extremism by moving, drawing in and engaging youth around the world.
Ilwad moreover fills in as the seat of the Child Protection Gender Based Violence Case Management Group in Mogadishu. Plus, she is an establishing individual from the Advisory Committee for Researching Gender Based Violence Social Norms in Somalia and South Sudan. Other than the abovementioned, Elman is member of the international practitioners network for civilian casualty recording, as well as an expert in the Women Waging Peace Network for Inclusive Security.
She has filled in as the One Young World Ambassador to Somalia since 2013; completed President Barrack Obama’s flagship White House fellowship for Young African Leaders in 2014 and in the same year was appointed Youth Ambassador to Somalia for Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict.
Ilwad briefed the UN Security Council on the Protection of Civilians debate in 2015; it was the first time a civil society representative was invited to speak on this issue before the Security Council, as well as the first time the annual thematic debate focused on women’s empowerment and participation.
She later co-wrote the Youth Action Agenda on Countering Violent Extremism which was cited in the historic UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on youth, peace and security. August 2016, Ilwad was appointed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon an expert advisor on Youth, Peace & Security and has been tasked to counsel a study to develop a strategy on UNSCR 2250.
Ilwad was honored with the 2015 Gleitsman International Activist Award from Harvard University and the 2016 Right the Wrongs Award from Oxfam America. In 2017, she was named and honoured with the award for “Youthful African Woman of the Year 2016”.
However, in 2017 she was a finalist of the Aurora Prize for arousing mankind. Past winners of the award she has gotten include her legends Nobel Peace Laureates Nelson Mandela, Muhammed Yunus and Leymah Gbowee.
Through her global advocacy programs for human rights; she has sparked national movements internally and garnered international attention externally to yield action towards durable solutions for the human suffering and protracted crisis in Somalia.
In October 2020, The 30 year old Ilwad Elman was awarded the German Africa Prize for the year 2020. The prize comes on the back of Elman’s endeavors to lead the German Africa Foundation to hand its marquee prize to the globally recognized master on conflict resolution. She was chosen from a shortlist of 30 candidates.
As Somalia descended into civil war at the beginning of the 1990s, her father Elman Ali Ahmed — an engineer by training, as well as an entrepreneur and social activist — had established rehabilitation and apprenticeship schemes for Somali child soldiers and orphans of war-torn Somalia. When Mogadishu became unsafe, Ilwad Elman had to flee to Canada with her mother as a two-year-old. Her father chose to stay in Somalia, but was assassinated in 1996.
Despite the danger, Ilwad returned to Somalia in 2010 with her mother and sisters to continue her father’s work and legacy. Over the past ten years, Ilwad and her mother, Farttun Adan, have built up the Elman Peace Center, a tightly run non-profit organization with 172 employees and eight regional branches.
Together with her mother, Ilwad Elman took on her father’s project to reintegrate child soldiers and civil war orphans into back Somali society. Her highly respected educational program “Drop the gun, pick up the pen” has helped thousands of young people adjust to civilian life. The successful program, with its modern therapy methods, free-of-charge apprenticeship programs and innovative financing model, is now also used in Mali and the Lake Chad area.
Meanwhile, in 2018, Somalia’s government passed a law making sexual violence a criminal offence. However, the law is currently under parliamentary review, and activists fear it could law will be watered down.
Recently, Ilwad Elman had to overcome immense personal tragedy. In November 2019, her sister Almaas, an aid worker, was shot and killed in Mogadishu — allegedly by a stray bullet. Investigations yielded little, with the perpetrator is unlikely to be caught. Still, Elman and her family decided to stay in Somalia. Ilwad Elman has become a role model for young women and girls in Somalia and most people around the world.
The German Africa Prize has been awarded since 1993 to exemplary figures from the African continent. Past winners have advocated for democracy, peace, human rights, arts and culture, and social issues. Although not endowed, the Africa Prize is the highest award of its kind in Germany.
The selection is made an independent jury and aims to portray a diverse image of Africa. Recent winners include Kenyan IT-pioneer Juliana Rotich, Botswana’s ex-president Sir Ketumile Masire, former Somali model Waris Dirie, and Tunisian union-leader Houcine Abassi. The German Africa Foundation is funded by Germany’s Foreign Office.
In 2019, she was named one Africa’s 100 most influential voices. In 2020, Ilwad Elman was in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize.