We are truly sickened by the terror attack that took the lives of over 300 people in Mogadishu, Somalia on Saturday. To know that many victims of the blast, which was caused by a massive truck bomb, were women and children only emphasises the cowardly, inhuman evil that motivated the act.
This was murder on an enormous scale. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, the people of Somalia, and the diaspora.
As is so often the case when horrors like this occur, the aftermath has revealed acts of true heroism and selfless moments of bravery. In the wake of the attack, Somalis have stood united in the face of hate, in part through protest, and by aiding efforts to help first responders who are still working tirelessly to find victims in the rubble.
One group of heroes – and there are many – are the staff and volunteers for Aamin Ambulance.
Since the civil war of 1991, Somalia has been plagued by political unrest and bouts of violence. The years of upheaval have led to a rapid decline of infrastructure, including hospitals and healthcare facilities; as well as the flight of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. Aamin Ambulance is an organisation attempting to fill this void by providing free first aid to the people of Somalia.
Despite their lack of medical supplies, Aamin Ambulance still saved many lives on Saturday thanks to their fast response and ability to work with the limited equipment at their disposal. The day after the attack, a Go Fund Me page was launched by a Swedish Somali activist and British Somali novelist with the goal of raising funds for Aamin Ambulance.
As it says on the page:
“While others run from danger, the heroic staff and volunteers of AAMIN AMBULANCE run towards it….They offer first aid but also transport survivors to the hospital and the deceased to morgues with dignity. They need improved communications, more medical supplies, better vehicles, more workers if they are to provide the desperately needed emergency response that Somalis need.”
After trending across social media, the crowdfund exceeded its original target. The money will hopefully allow Aamin to continue to help the victims of the blast, many of whom are yet to be accounted for.
Despite lacking the resources to tackle such a monumental tragedy, the Aamin Ambulance still went above and beyond to help the people caught up in the blast. Were it not for them, the scale of the massacre could have been even worse.
For more information about Aamin Ambulance, head to the Go Fund Me page.