Tuesday, October 28, 2008
GACMADHEERE: Richard R. Darlington Foundation Launched in Hargeisa
Hargeisa (Observer): The long-time principal of Sheikh and Amoud Schools was honoured on Thursday with the establishment of an educational charity in his name. The foundation, the Darlington (Gacmadheere) Foundation was announced by Mr. Eid Ali Salan Ahmed, a former graduate of Sheikh Secondary School (class of 69), Dr. Said Mohamed Gees (class of 68) and Mr, Ali Abdi Odowa, Director-General of the Ministry of Education. Mr. Eid Ali Salaan Ahmed, who also represented the Somaliland Society in Europe (SSE), explained that after his death in April of 2007, Richard Darlington’s family first established a post-graduate scholarship endowment at the prestigious Cambridge University in the UK from which Darlington graduated.
The endowment will be started with 250,000 Pounds Sterling bequeath from Richard Darlington’s estate. The endowment will be administered by the Caius College of Cambridge University and the proceedings will be used to help gifted students from Somaliland universities to complete postgraduate work at Cambridge.
Eid also explained that with the help of SSE and Darlington’s family the new Darlington (Gacmdheere) Foundation will help deserving Somaliland secondary school leavers to attend local universities. Darlington’s family will donate the initial startup funds, but Eid urged all Somaliland citizens, especially graduates of Sheikh and Amoud Secondary Schools, many of whom are among Somaliland’s elite to help with this foundation. At the ceremony Eid read a statement from Richard and Susan Sills, Richard Sills representing Darlington’s family. Richard Sills is Mr. Darlington’s cousin and executor of his will.
Dr. Ahmed Hussein Esa (class of 71) and Director of IPRT praised the SOS foundation for rebuilding Sheikh after the ravages of the civil war. He reminded the audience that school is now called GC Meiner Sheikh Secondary School and suggested that another good way of remembering Darlington’s name would be to name the school after him; a proposal which was taken under advisement by the dignitaries at the ceremony.
Richard R. Darlington came to Somaliland after the 2nd World War. From the late 1950’s to 1971 he served as a teacher and headmaster at Sheikh and Amoud, turning them into some of the finest secondary schools in the region. He left Somaliland just two years after Siad Barre’s coup d’état.
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