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The relief organization's orphanage is a breeding camp

Published on 01/09/2024 06.23

A British charity says it is helping orphans in Somalia.

But in their orphanage they trap Western children who are sent on educational trips.

“I would say there are between 8 and 10 kids from outside,” says one insider.

Three of them must be Swedish.

The organization wrote on its website that the boarding school is intended for orphans and poor children. Umm Al-Qura Boarding School posts on social media pictures of happy children wearing school uniforms and various school activities and celebrations.

But this is not the whole truth. Aftonbladet has been in contact with several boys who were sent on educational trips and detained at the charity's boarding school.

The boys describe school as a prison. They say they were constantly under surveillance and were not allowed to contact anyone outside.

They also talk about their friends who are still detained there – many of them children from Nordic countries.

The boys describe school as a prison.

Somalia and Kenya

With the help of an independent journalist in Somalia, Aftonbladet investigated how the business was run.

Aftonbladet has previously drawn attention to Swedish children being sent on educational trips abroad. The most common countries are Somalia and Kenya, according to the State Department.

Sometimes children are sent to live with relatives. But many of them end up in various types of breeding camps or are locked up in boarding schools.

Omolkura Boarding School is a boarding school in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. The school is run by the British Somali orphan charity Amul Al Qara.

Surveillance Cameras

The journalist visits the school and pretends to be someone whose sister in Europe wants to send her children to Somalia. On site, he meets the director who tells him about the activities.

– There is a VIP section consisting of larger rooms with an area of ​​nine by ten metres. Thirteen students sleep there, and a teacher sleeps in each room, according to the director.

The fee is approximately 2,077 SEK per month.

The second section consists of bunk beds. It is monitored by cameras and the teacher also sleeps here.

But this section is not the only one that is monitored by cameras. The principal explains that there is extensive camera surveillance throughout the school – in the hallways, classrooms, school yard and bedrooms.

-We are in a place with many students. Conflicts can arise and we cannot allow them to make mistakes. So we installed 81 cameras.

The director says that more cameras will be installed at the beginning of the year.

Three Swedish children are locked up

But the question remains: Are there foreign children detained in schools?

Aftonbladet's envoy gets another person with a good vision for the business.

– Yes, there are students who came from Europe. I don't know the difference between them. But there are definitely children brought from the diaspora, I have seen that, the person says.

-I would say there are between 8 and 10 children from abroad.

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Three of these children must be Swedish.

The person says the children are under strict supervision. They may not leave the school grounds or receive visitors without parental consent.

Aftonbladet entered the school and was filmed there with a hidden camera.

“Helps orphans”

Umm Al-Qura Somali Orphans Charitable Society is a British charity founded in 2008. The organization wrote on its official website that it runs various activities to help poor orphans in Somalia.

In 2010, the organization opened a boarding school in Mogadishu. They write that the work is supported by individual donations. But there was no mention of foreign children being held against their will, or that registering children there costs money.

Last year, the organization's income was just over 120,000 Swedish krona. Their expenses amounted to 112,000 Swedish krona, according to the body that regulates charities in England and Wales.

The organization was written in London, a few blocks south of Battersea Park.

When Aftonbladet visits the address, there is heavy traffic in and out of the ten-storey apartment building. It looks like many others in the area; Brick facade, small windows, no balconies, dilapidated elevators and stairs.

“Only children from Somalia”

Shopping carts and bicycles are located in the hallways. The residential area is in stark contrast to the newly built luxury apartments worth hundreds of millions at Battersea Power Station which is a short walk away.

There is no sign on the building or any other sign indicating that a charity is based here. But many neighbors know where the superintendent lives. Nobody's home there.

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– She is in Somalia, says a woman she knows. She adds:

– The school is in Somalia and only children from Somalia go there. Not from anywhere else.

Several neighbors take Aftonbladet's information and say they will pass it on to the woman who lives in the apartment.

“She will call you, but it may not be until tomorrow,” says a man in his thirties.

But no one answers.