Bank of America employees work to make a difference for the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation of Somalia

Atlanta-based Bank of America employees recently came together to support the Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation of Somalia. These exceptional volunteers took time to sort and pack hundreds of lifesaving healthcare supplies and goods generously donated by the hospital at Emory University, to be sent to more than 300 Somalian villages.

Dr. Deqo Mohamed and Katy Knox

Dr. Deqo Mohamed (left) and Katy Knox, president of
Bank of America Private Bank

“When Dr. Mohamed called on behalf of her mother’s organization to ask for our assistance the team in Atlanta didn’t hesitate, even though we had such a tight timeline,” said Katy Knox, president of Bank of America Private Bank and mentor to the organization through the Global Ambassador Program. “They initially asked for six volunteers, and in partnership with the Market President team, we were able to send 30 Atlanta teammates. As a result, many Somali lives will be saved by these supplies over the next year.”

More than a ton of supplies transported

From May 15 through 17, Dr. Deqo Mohamed, with the help of Bank of America employee Barbie Palmer, led the volunteers to pack more than 140 boxes of supplies, weighing a total of more than 2,300 pounds. Each volunteer went above and beyond from the start, with tasks such as taking inventory, filling the boxes and transporting them to the shipping site. All in all, their time and hard work had a great impact on the organization, whose current efforts and initiatives directly benefit more than 700,000 village residents.

Dr. Deqo Mohamed and Barbie Palmer

Dr. Deqo Mohamed and Bank of America employee
Barbie Palmer

The Dr. Hawa Abdi Foundation began in 1983 with the opening of Dr. Abdi’s small women’s health clinic, located on her family’s farm in a rural area outside of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

In the years following, she and her family identified the growing need for their services and continued to expand the clinic. It then grew to become Dr. Hawa Abdi General Hospital, and featured 400 beds for patients in need.

Volunteers pack boxes

Volunteers pack boxes with healthcare supplies for
Somali villagers

The hospital quickly became a hub for villagers in times of conflict, which lead them to further grow into what is now known as Hope Village ― a camp that has provided refuge for more than 90,000 people displaced by war. The foundation was created to support this camp, focusing on providing Somalis with a sustainable source of healthcare, education, agricultural needs and clean water.

The Global Ambassadors Program & Vital Voices

The Global Ambassadors Program was developed in 2012 in partnership with Bank of America to provide mentorship opportunities for emerging women leaders. It is part of Vital Voices ― an organization that invests in empowering women by building and supporting the initiatives of these leaders to affect positive change in their communities.

Dr. Mohamed is also a member of the Global Ambassadors Virtual Mentoring Network, a branch of the Global Ambassadors Program led directly by Katy Knox. Virtual mentors provide coaching to mentees beyond the one-week forum, with insights into strategic business planning, organizational management, financial reporting, fundraising and marketing.

The work of Dr. Hawa Abdi and Dr. Deqo Mohamed has been recognized and acclaimed globally, including a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for Dr. Abdi. The partnership between Katy, Dr. Abdi and Dr. Mohamed will continue to grow from here through further involvement in their organization’s inspiring efforts.

Originally published 7/8/2019