MOHAMED Moallim Abukar-Ganey (CEO and one of the founders of HARDO) at the age of 24 years worked as a Banker in Mogadishu in 1991 when Somalia Government collapsed. Amidst chaos he and his family and friends were displaced and ran for safety in Beletweyne District. The situation in Beletweyne was however not any different from that of Mogadishu. Engulfed in civil war and coupled with prolonged drought, the situation in Somalia only grew worse and many begun to die from starvation in the streets of Mogadishu, Bay, Bakool, Hiran and Shabelle regions in 1992. Unlike today, people in Somalia did not know how to survive.
There were no local humanitarian agencies and the Diaspora community to help their people back home. Everyone was displaced, everyone was a refugee. Despite the fact that they were just as needy as the rest of the community, Mohamed and his two close friends having observed the deteriorating situation felt it was only human for them to share the little they had to save the lives of the many who were dying in Beletweyne District and then wait to die with them.
They shared their thoughts with other seven friends who joined them and begun to contribute what they had from their pockets. They also talked to community leaders and business people to give what they had and within a short time they were able to raise approximately 5000 (USD) in cash and in kind, which they distributed to 300 families. Their mission was to once and for all solve the immediate problems of the most vulnerable families in Beletweyne and then stop operations.
Things however took a different turn of events when CARE International in the nick of time introduced a Somali Partnership Program and called for proposals just as Mohamed and his friends had completed their mission in June 1992. It was on 22nd of July 1992 that HARDO’s first proposal was approved by CARE International who became their first partner organization and the first to strengthen their capacity. Hope was restored and a vision for continuity was born. Mohamed and his friends thus felt that they had the ability to access the grassroots and act as a bridge between the desperate suffering local communities and the International organizations that came to their country to help the Somali people.
HARDO was thus first registered as HARDO relief and Development organization in 1992 and later rebranded as Humanitarian Action for Relief and Development Organization in 2002.The newly established NGO HARDO thus actively participated in the alleviation of the suffering of people during the 1992 – 1993 famine crises, and is still committed today in helping the needy to help themselves.
For 2 decades now after the fall of Siyaad Barre’s government in 1991, pervasive violence, anarchy and lawlessness still continue to inflict suffering and impoverishment upon Somali people particularly the vulnerable groups including children, the elderly, the widowed, the very poor and the displaced.