Ilwad Elman — Passing Down a Legacy of Peacemaking


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Photo by:  Sebastian Lindstrom

Photo by: Sebastian Lindstrom

In 2010, the conflict in Somalia was raging heavily and the majority of Mogadishu and the South Central Regions of Somalia were lost to the control of the Al-Qaeda linked terrorist group al-Shabab. Somali-Canadian social activist, Ilwad Elman, living in Canada at the time, left the safety of her new home in North America to return to her home country of Somalia. Even in the midst of terrorism, conflict, and violence — She has remained in Somalia ever since — working for peace, security, and empowerment in creative and innovative ways.

Today, Ilwad Elman is known for her work at the Elman Peace and Human Rights Center in Mogadishu alongside her mother Fartuun Adan, the NGO's founder. She was voted the African Young Personality  of the Year during the 2016 Africa Youth Awards. She is also the feature story in Issue 03 of the Goodnewspaper.

In this conversation, Branden and Ilwad discuss the opportunity we all have been give to live with intentionality and the opportunity to serve our communities. There is joy when we choose to educate ourselves in what is happening in our cities, and collaborate in order to add value.


(Oh, and if you’ve been inspired at all by our conversation with Ilwad, order Issue 03 of the Goodnewspaper. We dive even deeper into her story and the impact of her work in our this issue. Don’t miss out.)

Running away is not an option. We have to create a better environment for the next generation.
— Ilwad Elman

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Kristi Karrenbrock