In Conversation with Elman Peace: Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman

In Conversation with Elman Peace: Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman

On October 26th 2022, the Global Centre for Pluralism and KBF CANADA co-hosted a thought-provoking in-person conversation with the two extraordinary Somali-Canadian women at the head of Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre, a Somali organization working to build peace in Somalia and a 2021 laureate of the KBF Africa Prize.

The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Canadian Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, delivered opening remarks and highlighted the importance of having women, youth and marginalised groups at the decision-making table to help build peaceful societies for everyone.

Following opening remarks, Secretary General Meredith Preston McGhie had the pleasure to speak with Elman Peace’s Executive Director Fartuun Adan and Chief Operating Officer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Ilwad Elman about how to achieve genuine change long after parties to conflict have laid down their arms.

“Peace is about community; it is enabling an environment where people can meet their true potential and have the opportunity to pursue the best versions of themselves.”

– Ilwad Elman, Elman Peace, Somalia

Learn more about Elman Peace and watch the full event below.

About Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman

The women of Elman Peace, mother and daughter team Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman, were not spared the experiences of war and violence. Fartuun fled for Ottawa, Canada with her three young children while her husband, Elman Ali Ahmed, stayed on to continue his work rescuing youngsters from the grasp of rival warlords. In 1996, he was murdered by some of those angered by his campaign.

Ten years later, Fartuun, and then Ilwad, returned to Somalia to continue Elman’s work; the other two daughters soon returned as well. But in 2019 the family was faced with yet another crushing blow: daughter Almaas was shot dead in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

Thirty years on, Elman’s legacy, and now Almaas’ as well, is still going strong through Elman Peace.

About Elman Peace

Elman Peace is a Somali organisation working to build peace in the nation and beyond. With a staff of 200 in Mogadishu and eight regional branches across Somalia, Elman Peace has helped thousands of children and teenagers reintegrated back into their communities; opened the first rape crisis centres in Somalia; run programs for educating teenage girls; and provide mental support to people affected by Conflict.

This year, a school for 200 girls from disadvantaged backgrounds was opened, honouring Ilwad’s sister, Almaas’ memory.

Fartuun Adan

Executive Director, Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre

Ilwad Elman

Chief Operating Officer, Elman Peace and Human Rights Centre