Creative to support out-of-school children in Somalia with nearly $50 million USAID education project 


February 12, 2020

WASHINGTON — A five-year U.S. government program in Somalia to increase access to quality education and support accelerated learning for out-of-school children and youth who have been persistently left behind will be implemented by Creative Associates International.

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the nearly $50 million “Bar Ama Baro” (“Teach or Learn” in Somali), will target Somali out-of-school children and youth ages 8 to 15 to increase student enrollment, create safe learning spaces and improve literacy, numeracy and socio-emotional skills.

Eileen St. George, Creative Vice President of the Education Division, highlighted the urgent need for this type of U.S.-supported initiative and its commitment to building the expertise of the Somali government to support these students.

“Creative is eager to continue this momentum and begin to tackle the challenging issue of out-of-school children and youth, who make up 70 percent of Somalia’s school-age population,” she says.

Under Creative’s direction, Bar Ama Baro will be implemented with Save the Children, ORB International, Charlie Goldsmith Associates and SIL LEAD.

When USAID announced Bar Ama Baro, the U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Donald Y. Yamamoto reinforced the U.S. government’s support for Somalia, particularly in the area of education.

“This U.S. government investment will give vulnerable Somali students vital skills so that they can contribute in a meaningful way to their society,” Ambassador Yamamoto said in a statement. “The program focuses on teacher quality and student learning and invokes the spirit of other successful Somali-led literacy campaigns.”

Bar Ama Baro builds on Somalia’s new national curriculum, Education Sector Strategic Plan, and National Development Plan-9 which lay out a stronger, inclusive vision for education.

The newly announced program already has the support and interest of key officials in Somalia.

“My gratitude goes to USAID for its tireless support in education for our children, particularly disadvantaged groups,” said Minister of Education, Culture and Higher Education Abdullahi “Godah” Barre in an announcement from the U.S. Embassy. “I trust that this intervention will make a positive impact on our education system, particularly access, quality and governance.”

Creative’s expertise working in conflict and post-conflict areas, particularly in education, will be leveraged to ensure the success of USAID’s Bar Ama Baro, says Leland Kruvant, Creative’s President & CEO.

“Bar Ama Baro is an incredible opportunity to enroll more out-of-school children and youth in accelerated education programs while improving the safety and quality of education,” says Kruvant. “We are proud to continue our work in Somalia and be a partner as the country further develops institutions that serve the wellbeing of its people.”  

Creative is also implementing the Bringing Unity, Integrity and Legitimacy to Democracy (BUILD) project in Somalia. The project is providing critical assistance to help build electoral systems, strengthen civil society and encourage civic participation in Somalia, with a particular focus on women, youth and other marginalized groups.

Creative and the U.S. government recognize that investment in education—particularly among girls—is essential for Somalia’s growth and prosperity.

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