SOMOPS Foundation

At SOMOPS we view socially beneficial outcomes as an important goal of our commercial endeavours. We believe in maximising local management, acting as a catalyst to converge local and international disciplines. We actively promote knowledge and skills transfer, delivering off-balance sheet benefits to all those concerned and tangible benefits to the community in which we work.

However, we also support a number of specifically not-for-profit organisations through our corporate social responsibility programme; The SOMOPS Foundation. These include the Somaliland National Library in Hargeisa and Twins, a charity internationally linking schools for practical support, educational interaction and cultural understanding. The SOMOPS Foundation is also planning the development of a fisheries training and conservation education programme for artisanal fishing communities.

RAGEH OMAAR

RAGEH OMAAR

Chairman of Trustees

Rageh Omaar is among the most recognised and respected journalists working in western news media today. The award-winning writer and broadcaster has held a number of high-profile reporting roles, made documentaries for ITV, the BBC, Channel 4 and Al Jazeera English and is a regular contributor to a number of UK newspapers.

As International Affairs Editor for ITV News, Rageh is one of the UK’s most prominent journalists. He has presented a number of documentaries exploring Islamic history and Islam’s place in modern Europe.

Rageh’s family is from Somaliland, many of his relatives live there and he travels to the country regularly.  Along with Ahmed Elmi, Rageh was one of the first supporters and fund raisers for the Somaliland National Library.  Rageh was educated at Cheltenham College before attending Oxford University where he studied modern history. He first came to prominence as a BBC World Affairs correspondent for his coverage of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Apart from presenting ITV’s main evening news programme, Rageh also hosts the channel’s multi-award winning international current affairs programme, On Assignment.

Rageh says he is passionate to help the SOMOPS Foundation continue to support the Somaliland National Library and other charitable and developmental causes in Somaliland.

AHMED ELMI

AHMED ELMI

Trustee

As the original founding member of the Somaliland National Library,  Ahmed Elmi is a highly experienced change-maker in Somaliland society. He is a well known and respected member of the Somalilander diaspora in the UK and is a naturalized British Citizen. Ahmed Elmi helped build  cross-community working relationships with key stakeholders that culminated in the establishment of Darussalam Mosque and Cultural Centre in London. Ahmed has also taken part in work with many of Somaliland’s young social entrepreneurs and activists working to strengthen Somaliland’s democratic and civic institutions. Recently he helped deliver Somaliland’s first ever televised debate between rival political parties amongst the diaspora in the UK before the 2017 presidential election.

WILLIAM OSWALD

WILLIAM OSWALD

Advisor

William is a trustee/director of a number of UK charities and not-for-profit organisations working in the fields of Education, Preservation and International/Cultural relations. 

William founded the charity Twins, which links schools between the UK and developing nations for practical support, educational interaction and cultural understanding.  Twins was initially established immediately following the 2004 Asian tsunami, twinning some 200 schools between the United Kingdom and devastated parts of Sri Lanka.  Since then, its operations have been extended to other parts of Asia and Africa, including Hamar Jajab School in Mogadishu.  The SOMOPS Foundation supports Twins, of which Rageh is a Patron.

William is also a director of ABE, which provides affordable (UK government accredited) business diploma courses in more than thirty emerging economies around the world.  ABE has educated over one and half million students, providing local skills pools, boosting local economies and raising standards in local business educational institutions.  William introduced ABE to the Horn of Africa, where he has also been involved in a programme to help artisanal fishing communities and has assisted Give Books International in providing books to libraries in Mogadishu and Borama.