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Our Founder


Our Story

Amanda Lindhout established the Global Enrichment Foundation (GEF) in May 2010 after surviving 460 days as a hostage in war-torn Somalia. Working with other charitable organizations and academic institutions in Canada, the United States, Somalia and Kenya, GEF creates opportunities for change in one of the world’s poorest countries by:

  • Funding primary education
  • Providing university scholarships
  • Running a literacy school for Somali refugees
  • Supporting survivors of gender-based violence with medical care
  • Counselling, education and business opportunities
  • Sponsoring all-girl teams to cultivate leadership through sport
  • Funding school-based food programs
  • Providing emergency food aid to communities in crisis


The Global Enrichment Foundation is an incorporated non-profit organization that promotes peace and development in Somalia through sustainable educational and community-based empowerment programs, while undertaking humanitarian and life-saving emergency interventions in times of crisis.


GEF cultivates leadership to build safer and stronger communities. Key to our mission is providing women and girls with opportunities to empower themselves through education, training and economic capacity building – paving the way for all individuals to be agents of change and effective advocates for themselves, their family and their community.


GEF is a professional, non-denominational, people-centred organization built on compassion and respect for human dignity. We are connected to our stakeholders, transparent and accountable in our operations, and committed to Somali-driven solutions that facilitate lasting change.