B.R.A.V.E (Brilliant Resilient Ambitious Vibrant Elite) Foundation Inc.
Is a 501(c) (3) status nonprofit organization with the aim of serving young Somali women in the Twin Cities metro area. B.R.A.V.E is an organization for women by women dedicated in the upliftment and encouragement of young women within the Somali diaspora community.
Our mission at B.R.A.V.E is to assist young women of all ages in the underserved communities in areas of education, health, employment and women’s empowerment. B.R.A.V.E has five main missions which facilitate our goals and objectives as a women’s empowerment organization: 1) to create cultural awareness and encourage self-identity and self-actualization through the learning’s of heritage and traditions as well as self-growth. 2) Encouraging women’s empowerment and independence through career building and mentorship. 3) Establishing support and counseling as it concerns drug awareness and dependency. 4) Promoting a women’s health initiative in which healthy ways of living are encouraged in the area of physical, reproductive and sexual health. 5) Reducing the stigma around mental health through education of mechanisms of coping and dealing with mental health issues.
These five core missions guide B.R.A.V.E’s goal of cultivating strong-minded independent women. Through cultural awareness B.R.A.V.E hopes to keep Somali heritage strong within the youth by teaching forgotten traditions, cultural rituals and reinforcing the Somali language. A huge part of self-actualization is to understand where one originates in terms of culture and community belonging; this allows one to have a sense of community while also encouraging their own independent identity. Women’s empowerment is the backbone of B.R.A.V.E’s ultimate goal; through mentorship and group counseling young women are able to share concerns as well as obtain advice through peer and adult mentorship. In addition to mentorship, young women are aided in college applications and career exploring and building. Drug dependence has become a major health issue and is not one that the Somali community is immune to. In understanding this health epidemic, education on dealing with dependency as well as finding and utilizing resources are vital in overcoming drug dependency. Along with drug dependency comes mental and emotional impacts that must be dealt with and sorted. Providing actual tools of dealing with and coping with mental health issues as well as dealing with family members experiencing mental health illnesses are facilitated through tutorial sessions, in which group therapy is organized. Young Somali women face cultural shame as it relates to their sexual and reproductive health concerns, which leads to isolation and lack of knowledge on basic sexual health. B.R.A.V.E hopes to reduce the misunderstandings and shame around sexual health concerns.