Lily Rush Education Center for Children With Special Needs

Project Summary

The ultimate goal of any health-related initiative must be to achieve and then to maintain the maximum good health of the people. And at least one of the health-related initiatives must speak to the health needs of mentally disabled children and adolescents. Unfortunately, there has been almost no reported initiative concerning health provisions for mentally disabled children in low-income countries such as Somaliland, which is an autonomous region of Somalia and which borders Ethiopia and Djibouti. The estimated population of Somaliland is 4.2 million people.

This is especially true in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland and one of the rapid growing urban cities in the east Africa region. Hargeisa is host to various population groups, most of which are economically dependent on relatives who send money from a developed country in which they live. According to a Somaliland health and demography survey (SLDHS) in 2020 five percent of the total population live with a disability. Forty-two percent of disabled people did not receive any kind of care or support in the 12 months preceding the survey. The survey disabilities include sight, hearing, speech, learning, mobility, self-care and mental illness problems.


The overall objective of this project proposal by Innovative Humanitarian Solutions is to improve the living condition of mentally disabled children and adolescents and their parents in Hargeisa, Somaliland.

The main strategies include:

  • Involving participating community members in implementation of the project
  • Enlisting and involving new stakeholders
  • Improving Medco, physio, pedagogical care for children and adolescents with mental disabilities
  • Enhancing children and adolescents with mental disabilities to develop socialization skills through a re-education program dealing with well-being, hygiene, and behavior in the community
  • Creating awareness in the communities about mental disabilities, about needs of parents, need for caregivers, etc.

The Lily Rush Education Center will be completed March 2024.