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Emergency Trust Fund for Africa
News article13 May 2024Directorate-General for International Partnerships4 min read

From marginalization to leadership: Muna's impact on peacebuilding and education in Kismayo, Somalia

On the occasion of the International Day of Living Together in Peace, explore the journey of Muna, a young leader committed to empowering youth and fostering peace in marginalized communities. 

Youth Leaders, Muna and Abadir at the Fahan events ©Elman Peace
Youth Leaders, Muna and Abadir at the Fahan events ©Elman Peace

Explore the journey of Muna, a young leader committed to empowering youth and fostering peace in marginalized communities. Through her dedicated efforts, Muna has brought about transformative change, offering hope, opportunities, and a voice to those who were once overlooked. From co-designing a Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) toolkit to organizing community events and launching peace initiatives, Muna's story is a powerful testament to the impact of youth leadership in creating a brighter future for all.


In a region marked by numerous challenges for marginalized communities, such as conflicts, climatic shocks, and a weak justice system, Muna, a resident, is well aware of the obstacles.

She reflects, "Being a girl and a marginalized community member made me more vulnerable to great challenges being faced in Kismayo."

While initiatives like education have brought some progress, Muna highlights the persistent issues such as limited educational access and opportunities for marginalized youth. Driven by her own experiences, Muna is determined to address these issues and building  a brighter future for her community.

"Every marginalized youth has a story to tell, a voice to be heard, and the power to make a difference." – said Muna Mohamed Abdi

Reflecting on her work, Muna stated, "In the face of challenges, I believe that education and empowerment are the keys to unlocking the potential within marginalized communities."

Who is Muna?

Muna is a 26-year-old woman born in the marginalized community in Kismayo, Somalia and has overcome numerous challenges to become a beacon of hope and a catalyst for change in her community. Growing up in a city plagued by conflicts, climatic shocks, and a weak justice system, Muna faced additional obstacles as a girl from a marginalized background. However, her unwavering determination and belief in the power of education and empowerment transformed her into a transformative force within her community.

Muna Mohamed Abdi ©Elman Peace
Muna Mohamed Abdi ©Elman Peace


Muna's journey began when she volunteered at the Jubbaland Ministry of Youth and Sports, where she discovered the Fahan Youth Movement, a peace champion network run by the Elman Peace Centre through the support of the European Union. Recognizing Muna's leadership potential, she was selected as one of the Fahan youth leaders, embarking on a path that would shape her future and the lives of countless others.

Driven by her own experiences, Muna pursued a degree in Business Administration at Plasma University, while also obtaining a teaching diploma. She understood the importance of education and the lack of access faced by marginalized children in her community. 

"Muna emphasizes this, saying that knowing the challenges particularly faced by children from marginalized communities, her parents took her to school".


Muna’s role for preventing violent extremism

As part of the Fahan Youth Movement, Muna played a pivotal role in co-designing the Fahan Modules, a Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (PCVE) toolkit. This toolkit empowered communities and promoted peace by providing modular event materials that could be replicated at low cost by various actors. Muna and her team mentored and guided organizations and individuals in implementing the toolkit, amplifying the impact of peacebuilding efforts. 

Beyond her involvement in the Fahan Youth Movement, Muna initiated and led several volunteering peace initiatives, including the Somali Youth Leaders (SYL) Initiative, KALMO Community Welfare, and KABO Jubbaland Initiative. She also co-founded the Tusmo Forum, a platform dedicated to promoting literature and writing among young people. Muna's aim was to empower youth to express their thoughts and foster peace and development through creative writing. Her efforts resonated deeply with her community, inspiring marginalized youth to realize their own potential and become agents of positive change.

Muna's remarkable efforts and accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. She has received recognition from the government, UN agencies, and other organizations. Muna Mohamed Abdi's journey exemplifies the transformative power of education and empowerment. Muna's impact serves as a testament to the potential within every young person and the positive outcomes that can be achieved when they are given the opportunity to thrive.

Muna Mohamed Abdi ©Elman Peace
Muna Mohamed Abdi ©Elman Peace


About the project

The Strength Through Tolerance Project, funded by the European Union Trust Fund for the Horn of Africa, is implemented by a consortium led by the European Institute for Peace (EIP), in partnership with the Elman Peace Centre (EPC) and Africa’s Voices Foundation (AVF). The project aims to strengthen the collaboration and joint approach between the government and communities in addressing the factors contributing to violent extremism. The three interconnected work packages of the project involve assessing the current threat posed by violent extremism, formulating a robust government policy, and fostering a civil society capable of supporting the successful implementation of the Government P/CVE strategy through community-led projects and solutions. By establishing a nationally owned, transparent, accountable, and integrated approach to P/CVE, the project strives to prevent violent extremism effectively and efficiently while adhering to a framework of good governance, dialogue, tolerance, and respect for human rights.


Publication date
13 May 2024
Directorate-General for International Partnerships
Region and Country
  • Horn of Africa
  • Somalia
  • Strengthening resilience of communities
  • Elman Peace Centre

Programmes in the region

The action aims to enhance the ability of women and children in the States of Red Sea, Kassala and Gedaref to lead socially and economically productive lives, and in doing so strengthen their resilience and that of their communities.