On my nightstand sits a photograph of my parents, taken during their three-year tour in Germany before I was born. Since I was old enough to remember, this photoa€”along with the treasures my parents brought home in 1969 (a long-haired daschund, crystal goblets, a sporty two-door Volvo P1800)a€”helped shape my mental picture of Germany. Ranked among the most livable cities in the world, Munich feels more like a village of 1.3 million than a bustling metropolis.
The citya€™s heritage is displayed daily in storefronts, concert halls, restaurants and attire. My adventure with exceptional German design begins even before I board my flighta€”nonstop from Washington Dulles International Airport to Munich Airporta€”with a visit to Lufthansaa€™s swank new Senator and Business Class Lounge. After a swim in the Olympic poola€”which sits under one of the distinctive tent-style roofsa€”I spend an hour strolling through the park. Next door is BMWa€™s headquarters, factory, museum and showroom, a glass and steel structure as impressive as the motor masterpieces housed inside. The bicycles in the BMW store make me weak in the knees with their sexy lines and seductive German engineering, but even before I convert euros to U.S. Just a few minutesa€™ walk from my hotel is the trendy Glockenbachviertel neighborhood, where flamboyant and Goth clothes fill shop windows, and East Village-esque restaurants and bars line the narrow streets. I spend my last day in Germany visiting Murnau, an hour south of Munich in the foothills of the Alps. As we drive around in Fritza€™s green Subaru, up hills and around the Murnau Moor nature reserve, I realize that anyone could be a€?happiera€? in this idyllic town. Ita€™s easy to see why the area served as inspiration to artists such as Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Munter, who lived together at the beginning of the 20th century in what is today the Munter-Haus (also called the Russian House). And ita€™s also a cinch to recognize, at last, the scene in that photograph on my nightstand. So instead of dragging home a BMW bike, I carry with me another form of transportation: memory. VISHNUVARDHANRAO DONGER - FAMILYA PARENTS: My father was a school teacher and having immense devotion towards Lord Rama and he spent his many years in devotional singling and prayers and was a pious and pure hearted person.
Yet the capital of the state of Bavaria is one of Europea€™s leading centers of art and culture (with 58 theaters and 45 museums) and has an extraordinary public transportation system. A history teacher named Gudrun, who takes me on a walking tour of the city, says the rain kept her from donning her dirndl, the traditional Bavarian dress. My meals on the flight (starting with spinach-stuffed gnocchi with crimini mushrooms and pine nuts) cana€™t justifiably be called a€?airplane food,a€? since Ritz-Carlton chefs took over the menus this spring.
My tour with Gudrun covers the citya€™s main attractionsa€”including the glockenspiel at Marienplatz and the onion-shaped domes atop the two towers of the Frauenkirche, the Gothic cathedral. The Olympic Park (olympiaparkmunchen.de) was home to the 1972 Games, tarnished by the killing of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches by Palestinian terrorists.
In the citya€™s 3-mile radius, youa€™ll get around faster on a bike than any other mode of transportation. The companya€™s four-hour tour ($33.50)a€”which includes a beer garden breaka€”is a great way to get your bearings and work off that bretze (pretzel) and butter sandwich. Meal after meal, I return to this district, safe and easy, and find bartenders and baristas who gladly translate menus for me. The town, surrounded by warm lakes, is a popular weekenddestination for cycling, paragliding, climbing and winter sports. I remember an e-mail from my mother that described Bavariaa€™s colored buildings and flower boxes, and her words come to life in Murnaua€™s cobblestone-lined pedestrian blocks. We drive past ambling cows, adorned with bells that create a pleasing symphony in the valley. There, they and their artist friends sealed the regiona€™s standing as the birthplace of expressionist painting. It really could have been any flower garden in Bavaria, but I imagine my parents, south of Munich, enveloped by crisp Alpine air and the faint sound of cowbells.
Ita€™s portable, dependable and German-made, and the images will forever bring me back to the beauty of Bavaria. The Brandhorst Museum (museum-brandhorst.de) opened in May, the newest attraction in the Kunstareal, or Art Quarter. The Valentin Museum (valentin-musaeum.de), dedicated to the famous Bavarian comedian Karl Valentin, known as the Charlie Chaplin of Germany, reopened in 2008. There are iPod docking stations and DVD players, but bring your own shampoo and alarm clock.
Most of the 160 rooms have views of the Old Botanical Gardens or Municha€™s historic buildings. The only room that survived the war unscathed is Falka€™s Bar in the famed Spiegelsaal (Mirror Hall). Alpenhof, an hour south of Munich in the foothills of the Alps, just opened its Yavanna Wellness & Spa, which includes a Finnish pine sauna, footbaths and ice fountains. The airport bus leaves every 20 minutes for a 45-minute ride to the Main Train Station, which is convenient to most hotels. The biggest risk of jaywalking is not being hit by a car or being ticketed; ita€™s the look of shock and contempt youa€™ll earn from law-abiding pedestrians. He was very simple and perhaps he never harmed any one in his life and he was very compassionate and helping nature and I was one way lucky to be born in such highly devotional and simple family and I was always a obliged son and took care of my parents. MA?nchen, as the Germans call it, was founded as a town in 1158, and residents are proud of their history.
But Ia€™m surprised to learn that many of the historic-looking buildings are just decades old. Today ita€™s beautiful and vibrant, with walkways, lakes, bicycle paths, concert and sports venues and restaurants. Visitors can even reserve a spot to climb onto the roof of the Olympic Stadium between April and November (rope and snap hook provided), or for the more conventional tourist, there are daily tours of the stadium and the 955-foot Olympic Tower. Munich supports an extensive network of dedicated bike lanes that cover 745 miles, and the city Web site (muenchen.de) has an interactive route planner that allows you to print maps.
Dogs seem to be welcome in coffee shops, stores, beer gardens and sidewalk cafes, so I imagine Munich also ranks high as a livable city for hounds.
In the center is a beer garden, a great spot to rest with your bike and dog, fuel up and take in the atmosphere.
Fritz takes me to the local brewery, GriesbrA¤u (griesbraeu.de), where we eat a traditional Bavarian meal. We pass houses bursting at the seams with geraniums, lace curtains blowing out of open windows.
I picture them driving in their new Volvo, the daschunda€™s ears flopping in the wind, stopping to snap a picture in front of some roses.
After youa€™ve taken a bite out of the city, come back to your room for a bite of the polished apple on your pillow. You can also take the S-Bahn trains (S-1 or S-8, depending on your destination), which depart every 10 minutes from the airport to the city center. Because research has shown that when children are taught in a multi-sensory way which engages all of their senses simultaneously it stimulates the child’s entire brain making learning easier and improving memory retention. Munich was all but destroyed by Allied airstrikes in World War II, Gudrun tells me, a€?but the city was careful to rebuild in the same style, not like other German cities that are very modern now.a€? She says only one out of 220 churches survived the war. There are 22,000 bike stands, but youa€™ll often see bikes leaning against a restaurant or store as riders dine or shop. The downside for dogs is that the city is unfathomably clean, so I doubt the pups ever find sidewalk scraps. He explains how local culturea€”food, music and hospitalitya€”is closer to that of Austria than Northern Germany.
My mother was the most compassionate women and like any mother she was loving and caring and always worried about her children and she struggled a lot and had to pass very hard days.
Music and Movement are a powerful teaching tool that makes learning easier and improves memory retention.
The graduation will bring together hundreds of students, parents, professionals and leaders from the state of Ohio and national leaders in education.A Invited dignitaries include Ohio Governor John Kasich, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, Columbus Schools Superintendent Dr. Bikes are allowed on the trains (with a Bicycle Day Pass, $3.50), except during rush hour, and Municha€™s bike lanes put cyclists in a commuter class that you rarely see in the States.
Although your ticket isna€™t often checked, youa€™ll face a hefty fine from the ticket inspector if youa€™re caught without one. Gene Harris; Westerville Schools Superintendent Dan Good, Southwestern Schools Superintendent Bill Wise, Governors Director of Minority Affairs Lynn Stevens, representatives from the Ohio State University, Ohio University, Columbus State, Denison University, Capital University, Franklin University, Ohio Department of Education, and other county, state and state officials. Sevadal: Very important aspect in my family is that all my family members (my mother, my brothers, my sisters, my wife) are all sevadal and they have paticipated in Prashanthi Nilayam services on many occasions and all were blessed by beloved Swami.
His father-Sri Swamy Pillai, a Retired Senior Manager from Canara Bank, worked some time in Puttaparthi and their only daughter Mrs Gayathri is Alumni of Sathya Sai Womena€™s College of Anantapur. It awakens the children’s minds, makes learning fun, and engages both the mind and body in active learning.  This week we are learning two new educational songs with matching movements. Somali community leaders and educators including the first African man to receive a PhD from Princeton University and former Ministers will be honored at the event.A In addition to financial scholarships by the Law Office of Russell Flickinger, Presidential Service Awards will be conferred on members of the Somali-American community in recognition of their contributions to the community.
In the hexagon shape song the children are learning how to read the word for hexagon, identify the shape, and count it’s sides. This was myA  another turning point in my life to have such a most understanding and loving wife and we have already passed more than 25 years and never -not even a single time we made arguments or quarrelled.
Here are the lyrics if you would like to join in too.  The children were busy exploring the shape of a hexagon in different ways through out the week.
I feel and I am proud that we are made for each other that God has chosen us to lead such a peaceful and wonderful life. I have always kept my spirits high to serve parents and I strongly believe that it is my foremost duty. A To fulfil my moral obligations, I prefer to be with my parents during their odd and even times and I have taken my parentsa€™ responsibilities and did my best. When they opened their hexagons up they were surprised to discover it was made up of 6 equal triangles.


I served my father with utmost devotion and I was with him during familya€™s difficult days and he breathed his last in my hands and he admired me and he kept his faith and confidence in me to look after the family affairs. They traced the outline of the triangles and colored them in.  We built on their discovery by giving the children 6 different colored triangles to see if they could build a hexagon shape out of them. A In spite my hopping jobs in India and abroad me and my wife continue to serve my mother who has been with us for the past 30 years and I did not shift my family anywhere just to serve my mother.
We  gave the children a blank sheet of paper and asked them to build a dinosaur out of hexagons, a rectangle, and a triangle. My wife has completely changed and adjusted her life according to the family moral demands. I personally feel very much elevated when I think of looking after my mother all these years. Yamamoto, Ambassador Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs Donald Yamamoto's prior assignments included serving as the U.5. He also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of African Affairs from 2003 to 2006, where he was responsible for coordinating U. Reading: Diary of a worm, Diary of a Spider, recognizing and spelling the color word yellow.
Music and Movement: hexagon shape song, yellow color song, Days of the week, and counting songs. Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti from 2000 to 2003 and was the Deputy Director for East African Affairs from 1998 to 2000.Ambassador Yamamoto entered the Foreign Service in 1980.
Art: Triangle glue and paste activity, Dinosaur shape art, free art, tracing and coloring triangles and hexagonsScience: Mixing up compost for the garden, bean plant life cycle story, and observing just how fast the garden is growing!
He attended the National War College in 1996 for senior training and received a Congressional Fellowship in 1991.Ambassador Yamamoto is a graduate of Columbia College and did graduate studies at Columbia University, receiving a Master's degree in International Affairs. It is always amazing for us to see where all our former graduates are and all they are accomplishing.
The knowledge, confidence and good social skills they have gained here has led many of them to not only succeed in School but also in Dance, Sports, Art, Gymnastics, Drama, and the Girl and Boy Scouts.
Many of our students are already in High School and their parents still say they are at the top of their class. They  wore a cap and gown to receive their certificates and then ended the ceremony with glee by tossing their hats high into the air. We are so proud of all you have learned and of how confident, and responsible you too have become.
Kindergarten better get ready for you because you are more than ready for Kindergarten.Choo Choo, we have come to the end of our Alphabet Train and the children know so much more about all of the letters from A-Z. If you pass the turn-off ramp, you will enter onto the freeway and will have to get off at the next exit and backtrack.
The children are learning to identify, spell, and write the color word for yellow all in an interactive song to help memory retention.  We hope you all have a Happy Father’s Day. The children worked all week on making cards and  hand print trees for their Dads.  Pirates Ahoy June 16- 20, 2014Ahoy, Mateys!
Somalia needs to be united or the ongoing problems will simply be exacerbated, said Abdinur Mohamud, a consultant for the Ohio Department of Education.There has to be a solution that brings all those territories together so regions and communities can function at the local level, said Mohamud, a member of the organizing committee. We will be using a pirate theme as a jumping off point to explore counting, science, reading, and geography through play and hands-on learning all Summer long. Each week we will pick a different ocean animal to focus on at Science Class and we will learn about it’s different traits and habits.
The children watched science clips through out the week as we explored the fascinating lives of different kinds of sharks. We learned about leopard sharks that are spotted all over, great white sharks, and even the prehistoric shark Megalodon who was over 50 ft. Ralphie visited a museum down in San Diego this weekend and the Museum Staff held up a big tooth and asked if any one knew who the tooth belonged to.
Global Leadership Coalition.Somalia has been in a state of violence and conflict for over two decades now, Jibril Mohamed, president and chief executive officer of the Northland-based Somali Community Access Network, said last week. Many attempts were made to bring together the sides that were fighting for power in Somalia. It is always great to see that the children are not only learning new knowledge but are also able to apply that knowledge to new situations. We have such a smart group of children and they are all really advancing together as a group.
State Department, was invited to be one of the speakers but will not be able to attend, according to Mohamed. Since our Fiesta Day in May the children have been practicing counting in English and in Spanish.
The children are starting out learning to count from 1-10 in Spanish and we will see how high they can go.
Asher and Catalina are proud to help teach their friends to count to 10 in Spanish and are eager to learn how to count higher.
On Math Mondays we are practicing counting in Spanish along with our favorite Sesame Street Count. The children made the cutest pirates this week running around with all their pirate hats on. The little pirates kept busy counting shark teeth during Math and painting the deep blue sea with water colors at Art. Victoria brought in her special sea shells from Florida to show her friends and we used the opportunity to show the children where the state is on the map. If you get the chance now is the perfect time to take your child to the aquarium or the beach to further enrich your child’s learning experience. We connected to the web with our Smart TV and watched a marine biologist feed an octopus at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The octopus uses the suckers to catch and taste it’s food and even wrapped it’s tentacles around the marine biologist’s arm.  The children are so interested that we will continue learning more about the octopus and the rest of the cephalopod family next week. This week the children have been engaging in activities that help them improve their large motor skills, the big movements that involve the muscles of the arms, legs, torso, and feet.
But as we do with any policy we look at the situation on the ground and make determinations on when and whether we need to make adjustments to that policy.
It is going to be a painstaking process to move things forward in a positive direction.Malac was invited to give the keynote address last night at the conference, which will conclude today. We played soccer this week and the children watched a few minutes of the world cup to see how the game is played. Somalis many thousands of whom live in Columbus have an important role to play in determining policy.We understand that having a connection to them is something we need to do to ensure that we have that flow of ideas or an understanding what the impact of what our policies might be, she said, adding that violence is a major concern among Somalis. They take every opportunity to try to get that message to us to put pressure on us to keep doing something.Mohamed said he was one of two Somalis invited to attend a 2010 forum at the White House, where the president unveiled his administrations strategy in Somalia. Scripps School of Journalism Statehouse News Bureau.A ****************************************************************************************************************************************************Ohio conference discusses Somalia future, problemsJan. The children are excited to watch her eat and grow and we will be incorporating her into our Science Program. The aim of the game was to make it all the way across without falling into the “shark infested water” below. They had a lot of fun with the pretend play and it was good way to practice their balancing skills. We had a surprise visit on Monday from two of our former students Mia,  almost 7 years old and Jesse, 4. Mia graduated from our preschool program and then entered into her Kindergarten year at a private international school in South Korea where both of her parents who are U.S.
The children were excited to meet people who live in Asia and Mia was happy to be a special speaker about the continent she lives on. Issues discussed include the national roadmap, piracy, humanitarian crisis, frontline state military interventions, Diaspora remittance challenges and community development issues.
Engagement in Somalia: DualTrack Policy Aims and Implications * Debunking the Roadmap: A Tool for Statehood or Death-knell for Disintegration? His remarks will provide an overview of Americas role in supporting humanitarian, development, and security assistance in Somalia. Ambassador James Swan has served as the United States Special Representative for Somalia since August 2011.
He has served with the State Department since 1988 in Djibouti, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Haiti, and Nicaragua, as well as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (2006-2008). Somalis in America are not only active contributors to their newly adopted communities, but also continue to follow, and more importantly, influence developments in Somalia. So it was a priority for me to engage in a dialogue and learn from the Somalia diaspora in the first few months of my new assignment as the U.S.
They see heart-breaking news coverage of malnourished Somali children, read about bright young college students murdered by suicide bombers, or hear reports of wide-scale corruption and say that Somalia cannot be helped.
The problems Somalia faces today, the critics say, are the same problems it has faced for twenty years.
Interests in Somalia The answer is simple: Americas national interests require robust engagement with Somalia. As a compassionate society, the United States has an interest in addressing the acute humanitarian needs of our fellow human beings in Somalia. As part of our global commitment to advancing democratic values and improved governance, we have an interest in promoting political reforms that allow Somalis to be represented by leaders who will govern for the benefit of the people and the development of the country. The combination of instability and poor governance threatens not only the Somali people, but the security of our regional partners in the Horn of Africa and beyond.
These factors have led to the most serious piracy problem in the world on key international trade routes. They have also created a dangerous terrorist organization al Shabaab that wantonly attacks innocent civilians and African peacekeepers, has conducted terrorist attacks against Somalias neighbors, and has actively recruited American citizens.A For all these reasons humanitarian, democracy and governance, and cold-eyed security concerns America is committed to helping Somalia regain stability and security.
While Somalia faces enormous challenges, it also has, to quote President Obama, enormous support from the people of the United States.A A Vision for Success in Somalia We are committed to working with Somalis and the international community to help develop indigenous, long term solutions to the countrys ongoing problems.


America, as President Obama also said, wants Somalia to succeed.A Success means that Somalis facing drought and famine are helped to survive the current crisis and are given the long-term tools to better withstand future droughts.
Success means that Somalia is free from totalitarian terrorist groups like al Shabaab, which is responsible for many lost and shattered lives not only in Somalia, but in Kenya and Uganda, through its terror attacks and through its policy of banning humanitarian assistance. Success means that Somalis can turn to their government for the basic services that we take for granted in America.
It means that humanitarian and development assistance goes where it is needed and not into the pockets of corrupt officials or the armories of warlords and terrorists. And success means that the Somali people get to decide what form of government and constitution they will have.
Poll after poll shows that the Somali people want self-determination, even if they are unclear exactly how that democracy should look. Our role is to support the Somali people as they arrive at these decisions.A The Current Humanitarian CrisisLet me turn first to the current humanitarian crisis, which has been so much in the headlines in recent months. Nutritional data released by the Food and Agriculture Organization in early September spoke of 4 million people in need of assistance in Somalia alone, with more than three times that number at risk elsewhere in the region.A To address the immediate crisis, the United States has provided over $750 million to meet ongoing and urgent humanitarian needs in the region. Our dollars and diplomatic leverage are also being used to provide protection and assistance for Somali refugees in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.A While America is the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the Horn of Africa But, we are not alone.
European partners, Turkey, Gulf Cooperation Council countries, China, Japan, and many others have all responded to Somalias urgent need. Together, we have met nearly 80 percent of the $1 billion UN Consolidated Appeal for Humanitarian Assistance for Somalia, the highest percentage reached of any appeal in the world today. In addition to aid from governments, there have been significant contributions from private citizens and NGOs from around the world. In many respects, our core humanitarian challenge is not only to continue to mobilize the necessary resources, but also to ensure that all donors and implementing agencies are coordinating their response for maximum efficiency and effect.The areas worst affected by the famine are not coincidentally those where the extremist group al-Shabaab is most influential. Though assistance is beginning to reach these areas, coverage is uneven and continues to be impeded by al-Shabab in many places. We call on al-Shabaab to remove urgently all remaining obstacles to aid delivery in areas where they are present.
Although humanitarian access is far better in areas of Transitional Federal Government presence, we believe this could be further improved through efforts to establish more effective TFG aid-coordination systems and address the problem of small armed bands that control entry to some Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) sites.
The TFG should make areas it controls a model of effective aid delivery.A There is also something that you can do.
You may be surprised to know that more than 54% of Americans have no idea there is even a crisis in the Horn of Africa region. Today we are asking that 13.3 million people, the same number of people impacted by the crisis, take action to raise awareness for the Horn of Africa. Dual Track Policy after One YearBeyond the immediate crisis, our primary vehicle for advancing broader U.S. Under Dual Track, our diplomatic engagement and development assistance for Somalia is steadily increasing. These funds support a vast array of programs, across the entire country, that address security, peace and reconciliation, conflict mitigation, good governance, justice, democracy, education, economic growth, private sector competitiveness, health, water sanitation, food security, nutrition, and protection for vulnerable peoples.A Track one of the Dual Track policy reaffirms Americas continuing support for making the Transitional Federal Institutions more effective, more inclusive, and better able to provide services to the Somali people. Track One is consistent with our support for the Transitional Charter and Djibouti Peace Process. Track one also reaffirms our continued support for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeepers who defend those institutions.A The Second Track of Dual Track broadens our engagement with regional and local administrations, civil society groups, and communities across the country that share the same goal of defeating al-Shabaab and bringing peace and stability back to Somalia. In reality, the Second Track announced last year codified efforts that were already underway to expand outreach to communities and organizations that were creating pockets of stability and improved governance.
Key administrations and organizations we engage under Dual Track include Somaliland, Puntland, Galmuduug, Ahlu Sunna wal Jamaa, other local administrations, and civil society groups.A The past year has seen important progress on both tracks of Dual Track. On Track One, the Transitional Federal Government and AMISOM have succeeded in retaking ninety-eight percent of Mogadishu from al-Shabaab.
This is a significant accomplishment in the security arena and one that has led to increased humanitarian access in newly liberated parts of the city. Mogadishu has been the scene of the fiercest battles in the country as al Shabaab struggled to keep its grip on the city that remains the economic heart of the country and has historically been its political epicenter as well. While al Shabaab has lost territory and support over the past year, it remains a very dangerous organization within Somalia and our support to the Somali forces and the Ugandan and Burundian troops deployed alongside them in Mogadishu will continue. The United States supports the Somali National forces with stipends, training, and equipment, and has also provided the lion's share of equipment and training for the AMISOM troop-contributing countries ever since their first deployment in 2007.A On the second track, we have increased outreach and support to key regional administrations and local governments across the country that are providing stability and services and countering al-Shabaab. Somaliland, for example, emerged from a successful presidential transition last year, a process the United States supported with over $700,000 in assistance.
Having clearly progressed on democratization, the Somaliland administration has also successfully attracted new investment. That is why the United States more than doubled its assistance to Somaliland under Dual Track, going from about $8 million in 2009 to more than $20 million in 2010.
This funds programs focused on local government administration and planning, education, community development initiatives, and economic growth.A We plan to extend the same type of Track Two community development assistance programs to Puntland, Galmuduug, and accessible areas of Gedo Region in the coming months. Even in Mogadishu, our quick impact community-focused projects are channeled through the Benadir Administration in order to reinforce local ownership and keep the projects close to the people.A We know Dual Track also has its critics. Some claim the policy has undercut the influence of the Transitional Federal Government, but this ignores our continued support to both the TFG and AMISOM.
There are those who claim Dual Track further Balkanizes Somalia, pointing to opportunists who quickly self-declared newly independent states states that often represent little more than a hastily-posted website in a foreign capital.A The Second Track is in no way an open-ended commitment to assist any regional entity. Thomas and Amy, their parents said, “We love Korea but we miss Bubby’s.” Our preschool program helps lay a good foundation and gives our students the confidence needed for future success even if it is on the other side of the world!   ? ?      Copyright 2011 A Happy Daycare.
We are focused on looking for opportunities to help political structures that enjoy real legitimacy with their constituents and have a record of building pockets of stability within Somalia and responding to the people. We want to help Somalis living in such communities, even while Somalis as a whole decide what sort of relationship they want between their central and regional governments.
When it comes to recognizing new African states, America follows the African Union lead -- and the African Union supports a single Somali state.A On both tracks, we will continue to provide training to local authorities and targeted Transitional Federal Institutions to promote credibility and confidence in the peace process.
This includes funding activities to support constitutional and democratization processes across the country. It also includes training, often with the expertise of Somali diaspora like yourselves, to promote government transparency and responsiveness. A great recent example includes a member of the diaspora who returned to work with the TFG.
He identified $1 million dollars in lost assets, funds which belonged to the defunct Somali national airlines that were sitting unused in banks, and restored these assets the national budget.A Road Map Let me turn now to the national political process.
If Somali political leaders want to garner credibility with the Somali, they must capitalize on the improving security environment to make significant progress in both the political and governance realm.A Many Somalis still express a deep skepticism about the Transitional Federal Institutions ability or willingness to govern in a representative, responsive and accountable manner.
Much of their frustration comes from the perception that the Transition Federal process begun in 2004, which was supposed to provide the constitutional, electoral and parliamentary foundation for a new Somalia, has become hopelessly stalled. In the eyes of many of their constituents, the political leadership in Mogadishu has become complacent with the status quo, and the benefits it affords those in power, rather than committed to progress that will help the average Somali.A On September 6, however, these Somali leaders created a unique opportunity to change that perception. On that day, Somali leaders from the Transitional Federal Government, the regional administrations of Puntland and Galmuduug, and the Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa movement signed the Roadmap for Ending the Transition in Somalia. The terrible suffering of the Somali people, particularly during the current famine, underscores that the signatories must make rapid progress toward representative and effective governance that can meet the basic needs of all Somalis. We will continue to support the efforts of those who strive to achieve its goals and bring stability back to Somalia. Equally, we will work with our regional and international partners to hold accountable those Somali officials who obstruct progress.A Final ThoughtsFor all the challenges Somalia continues to face, we have seen positive though still fragile results from the efforts that we and our Somali, African, and international partners have expended.
This years humanitarian response has been massive, and now needs follow-through and improved coordination to ensure the necessary effect. In the security arena, momentum has shifted from al-Shabaab to the TFG and AMISOM -- although al-Shabaab still remains dangerously capable of asymmetric attacks. Politically, the Roadmap offers a positive vision for the end of the transition and also the prospect of convergence between the national government and regional entities, but it needs strong direction by Somali political leaders and active regional and international engagement to keep it on track.
He wants the United States to provide more humanitarian support to help stabilize the country.
We need an American action immediately, said Issa, who is a village council member in Urbancrest. That includes $175 million to Somalia.A Swan said the transition period for the government must end if the many needs of the Somali people are to be properly addressed. Yesterday, I led a community roundtable in each city, home to the two largest Somali diaspora communities in the United States. The UN has declared famine in two regions of southern Somalia where humanitarian access has been limited by Al Shabaab. USG is urgently supporting partnersto provide food, health, water and sanitation assistance wherever they can access communities desperate for help.I was also able to listen and learn from this dynamic community.
Somali Americans are a vital lifeline of supportfor their communities and families throughout Somalia.
I heard from dozens of community leaders who have mobilized their friends and neighbors to raise money for the drought through car washes, bake sales and fund drives.
A young woman in Minneapolis, choking back tears, described her Facebook page where she is raising money for drought relief and posting stories of families struggling to survive.
As I heard from Jibril Mohamed in Columbus, In 1992 I was a boy who fled the conflict and drought of southern Somalia and did the same long walk to the border that families are doing now. The Somali American community is a critical partner in identifying ways to help save lives.
We need urgently to ensure life-saving assistance reaches people now and are committed to doing so.




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