Students Create Human Rights Curriculum in Hope Village, Somalia

In 2015, Dr. Deqo Mohamed, Yale World Fellow and CEO of the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation, asked the Schell Center to create the Hope Village Human Rights & Conflict Resolution Curriculum. Six Yale students—five undergraduates and one graduate student—began researching and writing the curriculum in October 2015, drawing inspiration for content and activities from a range of preexisting peace and human rights curricula. The Yale team is now finishing the first year of the curriculum and outlining how it will develop into a four-year program. Lessons are set to begin in October 2016.

The Hope Village Curriculum includes modules on identity and self-representation, human rights principles and law, and post-conflict resolution. The curriculum focuses on empowering students to fight for change in their communities, with an emphasis on the rights of women and girls. Students will not only learn important concepts, they will develop public speaking and leadership skills. They will also learn how to hold their community and country accountable for human rights violations. The curriculum is intended to teach students, many of whom have known only civil war and instability, how to peacefully resolve conflict, value and participate in law, advocate for their own rights, and build a more peaceful, equitable Somalia. These goals are cornerstones of Hope Village’s philosophy.