A World Citizen

Ismail Awil 

My life ambition is believing in the fact that I am a citizen of the world. I am born in Hargeisa (Somaliland) and I have been living in The Netherlands since 1991. That is more than two-thirds of my life. My experience during my stay in The Netherlands, and my background made me the person that I am today. After I finished my studies, I worked for international organizations to be part of the global movement on poverty reduction and to strive for a better future for everyone.

"I am not an Athenian, or a Greek, but a citizen of the world" - Socrates

I was very young when I came to The Netherlands, but, my wish and desire was always to go back to my roots and be part of the country's development. I had contact with family whom I was supporting financially and I visited the country whenever possible. I have even been a volunteer for different Dutch organizations to support development projects in Somaliland and I helped others to start a business from a distance. All these involvements were not enough. 

Returning back to my second home for a longer period was the only solution to be closer to my ultimate goal. This goal was made possible by my participation in IOM's CD4D project.

© Muse Mohamed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

I came to Somaliland in July 2017 to start my assignment for the Ministry of Interior. My task was mainly related to the improvement and empowering of the Ministry, especially the department of Administration & Finance. I have never worked for a government institution before. I was very motivated to begin my work and enhance the capacity of the department. It was not easy in the beginning, but after one month things became easier. I had to deal with bad time management and weak teamwork. 

My personal qualities, language and experience with the culture made it easier for me to be accepted. All the doors were widely open to help me with many tasks in the third month. I was feeling confident and took on even more activities in a short period. I successfully completed my assignment and contributed to policy development and the reorganization of Human Resources department.

© Muse Mohamed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

Thanks to my small contribution, the Ministry has a strategic plan, development plan and goals for the coming four years. Last but not least, they have a Human Resource Policy and Procedures guideline to improve the capacity and the wellbeing of the staff. The management team and the staff of the Ministry appreciated my stay and the contributions of IOM. More still needs to be done in the areas of planning, decentralization and training for different departments like in the area of gender empowerment. This is also the case for many government institutions. The country is still very young and international support for institutional capacity building is limited.

I am very happy that I am part of the CD4D project. Thanks to my participation, I am now more motivated and I want to undertake another assignment. My final wish is to find a job or establish a solid business that contributes to the development of Somaliland which I hold very dearly in my heart and hope to see it make its mark on the world. My thanks goes to the IOM team in Somaliland, The Netherlands and their partners for making this experience possible.