Dec 21, 2010

Somaliland: Edna Hospital Praised for Excellent Work

A New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, has highlighted  the actions of some small but very active humanitarian organizations working all around the world, in the belief that the upcoming Christmas would be an opportunity for everyone to support charities which rarely catch the attention of mass-media.

Below is an article published by The New York Times

So what would your aunt prefer as a holiday gift — another Mariah Carey CD, or the knowledge that she’s sending a little girl in Haiti to school for a year?

Unless you’re cursed with the oddest aunt ever, the answer is probably the latter. In that spirit, this column will serve as a sort of Humanitarian Gift Guide: I’ll lay out some of the loftiest gifts of all, those that touch human lives and connect us. As I did last year, I’m going to skip over the big organizations that most people have heard of. So by all means, buy your kids a $30 beehive (or an $850 camel) for a needy family through Heifer International, or write a check to the International Rescue Committee for its terrific work in Congo — but my focus today is groups that never make the spotlight:


Edna Hospital ( is a dazzling maternity hospital in Somaliland, an area with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Edna Adan Ismail, a Somali nurse- midwife who rose in the ranks of the World Health Organization and also served as Somaliland’s foreign minister, founded the hospital with her life’s savings and supports it with her United Nations pension. A $50 gift pays for a woman to get four prenatal visits, a hospital delivery, and one postnatal visit. Or $150 pays for a lifesaving C-section for a woman in obstructed labor.


One of the paradoxes of living in a wealthy country is that we accumulate tremendous purchasing power, yet it’s harder and harder for us to give friends and family presents that are meaningful. In this holiday season, sometimes a scarf from a prostituted Cambodian girl, or a scholarship for a Zambian child, is the most heartwarming gift of all.


For the full listing of charitable organizations, please click here.