Imaging growing up having your life planned out before you. You will attend the best high school in your country, graduate with top grades, go on to study at Harward, MIT or Oxford, and finally return home to take on the responsibilities of someone with an advanced education. You will be a top scientist, a career politician or a diplomat.
The children of Abaarso school in Somaliland is told this. After a strenous, nationwide application prosess, they are expected to excel, to hopefully, one day, be part of a new generation of nation builders. The school is financed by American investment, and the teachers are almost exclusively from North America or Western Europe. English is mandatory during school hours. The children are given oppurtunities rare in East Africa. However their life is strictly monitored and structured. Their days are planned almost to the minute. And their everyday life walled off from the rest of Somali society.
AUTHOR: Håkon Benjaminsen NORWAY
Håkon Benjaminsen is a photojournalist and documentary filmmaker living and working in Oslo, Norway.