MANDURAH doctor Aweys Omar has been named the Person of the Year in Somalia.
The local doctor, who moved to Australia from Somalia 20 years ago, has been remotely running two projects in the region for some time.
“I’ve always been community minded and looked for what I can contribute,” Dr Omar said.
“So when it came to the award, I was surprised.
“I haven’t paid back what I’ve been given yet – Africa giving me the opportunity to become a doctor.”
The first project came about after Dr Omar networked with friends and colleagues around the world to band together and fundraise for Somali orphans.
This then grew and today the program supports 1000 children – 500 boys and 500 girls – to go to school.
The program pays for the students’ school fees, uniforms, stationery and breakfast and lunch, as well as the teachers’ wages.
“If you want to see a good future you need to put in the effort now,” Dr Omar said.
“I’m trying to empower the younger generation to become independent and become good citizens in the community.”
The second project has Dr Omar give free weekly consults to the Somali people via Skype.
He is sent the patients’ cases a week in advance, including the results of any scans and tests, and then for a few hours on Saturdays he Skypes the patients and their doctors for a consult.
“It doesn’t matter where you are, you can still help your community and your country,” Dr Omar said.
“I feel a responsibility to them.”