African Community and Economic Development of New England (ACEDONE)

Semester: 2012 Fall

Students: Michael Robertson and Andrew Sullivan

ACEDONE was founded in 2002 to provide support to Boston’s growing East African community. A Somali run non-profit, ACEDONE’s mission is to help East African refugees and immigrants develop into a self sufficient and vital community in Boston by ensuring a quality education for their youth.

A predominately youth-serving organization, ACEDONE has become a trusted fixture in the community over the past nine years and the leading voice for East Africans in the Boston Public School system.

Somali teens and parents in the U.S. grapple with additional pressures that exacerbate the standard familial conflicts. For Somali parents the stress of trying to raise children in a new country, the subsequent change in their family’s power dynamics, and the loss of their traditional authority can cause them to fear the impact of American culture on their teenagers and to cling tightly to traditional modes of Somali parenting that put them at odds with their more Americanized children. Somali youth, in turn, struggle to integrate into mainstream US society while juggling their dual identities as Somalis and as Americans, making them feel disconnected from their strictly traditional parents and unable to communicate effectively when family conflicts arise.  Yet while both youth and their parents have expressed an inability to manage their conflicts successfully, Somalis of both generations indicate that their family is central to their lives and the focus on family is one of the most positive aspects of their culture. HNMCP will assist ACEDONE by developing a set of tools to help Somali youth and their parents better manage conflict.

Our Work

  • Focus group discussions and key informant interviews with ACEDONE leadership, youth leadership and parents.
  • Research into Somali culture as well as issues and trends in Somali youth development.
  • Development of a conflict management curriculum.

Deliverables envisioned

  • A report on the underlying causes and recommendations for effective conflict management between Somali youth and parents to be presented to ACEDONE
  • A curriculum on conflict management specifically geared towards Somali families.
  • The implementation of training in conflict management for Somali youth.

Read the story about the training with Somali youth that resulted from this project.

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