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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Amanda Lindhout sets up scholarship for Somali women

Freelance journalist, Amanda Lindhout, who was held captive in Somalia for 15 months is hoping to send 10 Somali girls to school this fall through a scholarship program she has set up.

Lindhout met with members of a Red Deer congregation Sunday, thanking them for praying for her while she was kept captive.

"I was abused in many ways that were justified in accordance with a very strict interpretation of Islamic law and I feel a great deal of empathy and compassion for the women who continue to suffer there," said Lindhout.

The freelance journalist who was captured along with Australian photographer Nigel Brennan in August 2008 says she has set up a scholarship program to help girls in war-torn Somalia get an education.

"I said to myself, ‘if I get out of here I want to dedicate my life to helping other people,'" she said.

Lindhout is hoping to send 10 Somali girls to school this fall and another 100 over the next four years. Radio broadcasts in the safer parts of Somalia will spread the word about the scholarships Monday. In more dangerous areas the news will be spread by word-of-mouth.

"We can't advertise it publically because yes, there could be repercussions for girls in southern Somalia to be seen taking a scholarship from an unbeliever," said Lindhout.

Lindhout says she works on forgiving those who captured her everyday, but those in her hometown believe she has already has.

"Just setting up this scholarship fund is, in and of itself, an act of forgiveness," said Pastor Gary Bomhof from the First Christian Reformed Church.

The mayor of Sylvan Lake agrees.

"It shows the unbelievable strength that Amanda has to recognize the needs in that country," said Mayor Susan Samson.

However, Lindhout says it is the women of Somalia who deserve praise.

"I'm inspired by the resilience and strength of their spirit," said Lindhout. "Powerful social and economic change takes place when a woman is educated."


  1. On January 11 of this year Amanda's friend, and publicist, asked that you turn over this domain name to Amanda Lindhout. To date you have not done that. You have had many opportunities to show decency and you clearly have not chosen to take those. I join a group of people in my demand that you return this domain to the rightful owner immediately.

  2. It appears you have perhaps sold the domain name to "Health Buzz"?! Ridiculous and tacky Terry....