Somali Group in Minnesota Tackles Tough Issues

New Routes to Community Health

Field of Work: Producing media on health concerns among Somali refugees.

Problem Synopsis: The health challenges of greatest concern to a largely Muslim Somali community in Minnesota proved surprising: mental health, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and relations between teens and parents. Dealing with such taboo subjects required building community trust and soliciting community involvement.

Synopsis of the Work: Egal Shidad: Stories of Somali Health worked with the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnestota and other partners to produce media that addressed these health challenges.

Key Findings/Results: Egal Shidad: Stories of Somali produced a one-hour TV and radio show about mental health, a 30-minute video about STDs, and a 30-minute TV and radio show about communication between Somali youth and their parents. Members of the Somali community determined the content of these segments and participated in on-screen discussions, and Somali leaders supported the project. Mukhtaar Gaadasaar, a Somali refugee, served as producer.