In 2011, an extraordinary event took place: Niagara University College of Business faculty member Dr. Abdiweli Ali accepted a position as Prime Minister of Somalia. The appointment came at a time of dire need; poised on a period of drought, beset by over two decades of political instability, the Somali people are in need of food, shelter and medicine, even as they strive for a stable government.
Niagara University, as a Catholic, Vincentian institution, is no stranger to serving the basic needs of the poor, even when it seems their fate turns on factors beyond our control. Further, as an institution of higher learning, we are committed to the role education can play in empowering anyone to challenge that fate. Therefore, we commit to three actions in the wake of the humanitarian crisis in Somalia:
- fostering responsible and effective fundraising to aid the people of Somalia with basic needs
- promoting awareness of the evolving situation in Somalia as our faculty member performs the duties of Prime Minister
- organizing education around the larger issues at play in the developing situation
This initiative is called “Mission Somalia,” and involves students, faculty, staff, alumni and the Western New York community.
All are welcome to send their ideas to this effort of the living mission at NU. To do so, please email Stephanie Cole or Dr. Brian Murphy, join the “Niagara University Somalia Support” Facebook group.