Author: ariana

What You Can Do to Help People Suffering from Famine in Somalia

Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance. ― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Food insecurity and shortage has long been a problem in Somalia even without the drought. But with the threat of famine spreading across the country due to severe drought, millions of people including young children are in dire need of food, water, and sanitation among others. If you want to help in whatever little way you can, here are some of the international humanitarian organizations where you can donate to send your support in Somalia.

Concern Worldwide
Concern is an international humanitarian organization that works in some of the poorest nations in the world to provide food and nourishment. They have a community of health workers in Somalia who are trying to save children from hunger and malnourishment.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International
MSF has been working in Somalia from 1991 until 2013 when they had to pull out due to increasing attacks on its staff. It will resume its work in the country by providing support to Mudug regional hospital located in the Puntland region. Donating to the organization will help its efforts to offer much-needed support for the hospital and its patients.

The Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs or OCHA work on famine prevention, drought response, and humanitarian work.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Working with Somali Red Crescent, the ICRC provides emergency assistance and other humanitarian works and projects.

UNICEF Somalia works in addressing problems on malnourishment, providing vaccinations, and humanitarian response to famine-stricken places.

World Vision
World Vision works on providing emergency food and water to the most vulnerable children in East African countries stricken by severe drought and facing a hunger crisis.

Somalia-Inspired DIY Projects

Somalia is known for its native crafts such as finely woven cloth, wood carvings, basketry, and gold and silver jewelry. It’s a country that thrives in the creative world. Palm leaves are woven into different objects—mats, baskets, and trays for winnowing grains and rice. The leather is also a famous craft.

And because Somalia is stimulating, we’ll give you four DIY projects that are Somalia-Inspired.

Carved Geel


Even if you’re not a woodworker or handyman, you can still appreciate this project. In Somalia, a carved geel (g-el; camel) is an essential animal because it is their symbol of health and wealth.

Camel pastoralism is a standard way of life in the country even until now. Somali pastoralists are a camel community because of the harsh and dry environment they live in. Somalia is also believed to be the original home of the domesticated dromedary camel. It even has the most number of camels in the whole world.

Dhiil Gori Ah

somali-milk-containerThis wooden milk container is also an excellent DIY project. All you need are some wood and wood processing tools such as a log splitter, wood planer, and sander.

This is where camel milk is stored, and in case you didn’t know, camel milk is the staple food of Somali pastoral communities.

Learn more about handyman tools in

Woven Baskets

Woven baskets are also popular in Somalia, and they’re woven by women in the southern regions of the country. Women have used various fabric and materials to produce some of the most beautiful fans, baskets, and even windbreak covers for their homes. The basket weaving practice is an important aspect of womanhood in Somalia. Little girls are taught at a young age. Each region in the said country has its own specialty when it comes to basket-weaving because they have different artistic ways of expressing their culture.



The last one on the list is the traditional Somali headrest made of wood. It’s carved from a piece of fine-grained wood called as “Hagar” in Somali. It’s also known as Yucub wood. Usually, the natural color of the wood is left, but some owners paint their headrests with the color red or black.

Men in East Africa use Barkins as pillows and representations of status. Men’s headrests typically have a smaller base which makes them unstable to sleep on. On the other hand, the rectangular bases of women’s headrests are more stable.

There you have it! For inspiring DIY projects that will make the Somali people prouder of their culture and creativity.

How to Make Your Own Somali-Inspired Spiced Coffee

Want to (literally) spice up your coffee break? Make your own Somali spiced coffee today! This recipe is so easy to do, you’ll be making it every morning.

If you’re wonder what makes it unique and worthy to try, well, it’s not steeped in hot water; rather, in hot milk! So, seriously, get your taste buds ready for this delicious treat!


  • French press
  • Rolling pin or mortar and pestle
  • Wooden spoon


  • cinnamon-sticks-spice1 tbsp. of sugar
  • 1 green cardamom pod or ½ tsp. of ground cardamom
  • 2 cups of whole milk or sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 pcs. Cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tbsp. of ground coffee
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Open your cardamom pod. Once opened, you’ll see small seeds. Grab your rolling pin and gently roll over them until they’ve broken up. You can also use mortar and pestle to crush them.
  2. Use the rolling pin or your mortar and pestle to break the cinnamon sticks you have.
  3. Bring the whole milk or condensed milk to a slow boil. It’s crucial that you stir with your wooden spoon frequently to prevent burning.
  4. Put the spices, the sugar, the ground coffee, and the salt in your French press.
  5. Once the milk has boiled, remove it from the heat, and pour it into your French press.
  6. Stir, cover, and steep for four minutes.
  7. Press, transfer to a cup, and enjoy your spiced coffee!


This recipe would suffice two people or one thirsty coffee addict.

If you want it to have more “kick,” I suggest you add one shot of espresso. The taste will be different, of course, but it’ll still be one hell of a coffee.

Don’t own an espresso machine? Get one now! Just check out these top 5 best espresso machines for commercial use. They might be preferred for commercial use, but if you know you drink a lot of coffee and there are others in the house who drink coffee a lot too, then you better get yourself one of those. Besides, you’ll never know when you’d want to run a coffee shop business, so it’s best to have a machine that can be both for personal and commercial use.

Learn how to create the perfect shot of espresso here.

Saw, You Think You Can Cut?

Powered saws are considered the saws of this high-tech era. No longer do workers rely on handsaws these days. But with all the powered saws from SawingPros available today, which one should you use for a particular job? Let’s see what each one is made for.

Band Saw (Stationary & Portable)


These saws are ideal for detailed cutting of curves into the wood. It could also cut pipes, tube, and PVC but only to a limited depth only.

Chain Saw

This makes use of a linked chain and fall under the classification of band saws. They’re best for tree-related tasks.

Chop Saw

As the biggest portable edition of a circular saw, this saw is tailored to cut through stone and metal.

Circular Saw


This tool uses a toothed blade and is one of the most common powered saws. It can cut through plastic, wood, metal, stone, and more.

Compound Miter Saw

Designed to make miter, straight, and compound cuts, the miter saw’s blade is attached to an arm which can adapt complicated angles, allowing it to make cuts for intricate scrollwork and trim.

Flooring Saw

As the name implies, this saw is made to re-saw flooring—bamboo, engineered, laminate, or hardwood.


This versatile handheld saw consists of a short and fine-toothed blade that moves up and down at various speeds. It’s designed to make detailed curves and other irregular shapes. Jigsaws nowadays can be corded or cordless.

Miter Saw

Perfect for trimming and other tasks that involve accurate angle cuts and measurements, the miter saw can rotate up to 45 degrees to any of the sides of a straight 90-degree cut. This tool can also be used to cut long mitered ends. Hence, the name.

Pole Saw

This saw is a handy tool used to prune tree branches. It’s an excellent saw for landscaping.

Radial Arm Saw

This tool enables the user to create similar miter cuts, compound cuts, and more. All you have to do is place the blade and motor on an arm which stretches out over the cutting table.

Reciprocating Saw


Similar to the jigsaw, the reciprocating saw features a blade that quickly moves back and forth. It’s ideal for slicing through wood, tubing, and plastic. It can also be used to cut beneath wood joints or walls thanks to its powerful blades that can cut nails and wood.

Rotary Saw

Sometimes referred to as rotary tool, this saw has a fixed blade and a small screwdriver-type handle. It’s recommended for cutting into the wall for repairs and others. Because it’s versatile, it can be used for crafts to construction.

Scroll Saw

This saw can be utilized with a band, a continuous, or a reciprocating blade. It’s a narrow-bladed saw tailored to make complex spiral lines, scrollwork, or patterns.

Table Saw

This saw is called a table saw because it has a high-speed motor which is mounted beneath a flat table. Its blade, which projects up through a slot, is a bit larger than the circular saw blade.

Three Inspiring Books about Volunteering

Years of fighting and conflict has left Somalia torn and its citizens in abject poverty. It continues to hover between what the United Nations describes as a most failed state to a fragile one. The plight of the country has awakened an interest and desire of some people to explore volunteer work possibilities in the area. But security conditions have made this path difficult to pursue. But there are other ways to help the most vulnerable in Somalia through the various charities and international humanitarian organizations present there. And there are also other volunteering abroad free programs worth exploring. Here are some of the best books that provide insights about life abroad as a volunteer.

1. Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
This is a raw and deeply moving story of the plight of women from around the world. Written by two Pulitzer Prize winners, this book takes a look into the continuing oppression and the struggles of women and how even the smallest help can make a huge difference in uplifting women’s lives.

2. In the Shadow of Man by Jane Goodall
In the Shadow of Man shares the inspiring story of the renowned scientist’s early years in Tanzania’s Gombe Stream Reserve. It provides a heartwarming insight into her work with chimpanzees and the bond she developed with them over the years.

3. Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
This is a story that shows how a failure can lead to something much better. Failing to climb K2, which is one of the highest mountains in the world, Greg Mortenson stumbled into a village in Pakistan. While there, he noted the lack of schools that will educate the villagers, especially the children. Three Cups of Tea is an inspiring tale of the humanitarian spirit and the lengths a person will go to help others.

5 Best Films that Provide a Glimpse into Life and the Struggles in Somalia

Out of sight, out of mind. This adage just about sums up how the world seems wired to forget about anything that it does not see. Somalia is probably one of the places in the world that many people know little about outside of its reputation as a lawless failed state. But it is home to millions of people with its own rich history, culture, and struggles that not many people know about. While movies may not capture the uniqueness and complexities of a country, they can at least provide glimpse into its life and travails. Here are some of the best films that will make you think about Somalia.

Black Hawk Down (2001)

The film is an adaptation of the book Black Hawk Down written by Mark Bowden. It tells the story of U.S. soldiers dropped in the heart of Mogadishu on a mission to capture a Somali warlord’s two top men. The soldiers were met by an unexpected attack that led to a long-drawn gunfight. Twenty soldiers died including the 18 men from the Army Rangers, Delta Force, and Task Force 160 aircrew. It is a gripping tale of a mission in a country torn by war and lawlessness.

Captain Phillips (2013)

Based on a true story, Captain Phillips tells the story of Captain Richard Phillips and the hijacking of the American container ship Maersk Alabama. It tells the tale of the events that unfolded when Somali pirates hijacked the ship and held Captain Phillips hostage in 2009.

Desert Flower (2009)

Desert Flower is a film based on the story of international model Waris Dirie. It is a tale of her journey from being a Somali nomad who experienced female genital mutilation (FMG), sold at 13 to become a bride, and her escape from Africa to build a new life as a global supermodel and FMG activist.

Godka Cirka (2013)

A Hole in the Sky (Godka Cirka) is a poignant film that provides a glimpse into the lives of three female shepherdesses in a village in Somaliland. It takes a look into the challenges and the struggles including the practice of female genital mutilation that dates back to the old days.

Men In The Arena (2015)

Instability, piracy, and terrorism are just some of the top things that come to many people’s mind about Somalia. Men In The Arena is a film that departs from these common themes. It instead puts the spotlight on the Somali national football team and its two athletes as they try to chase their dreams. It is a tale of hope in the midst of hopelessness.

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