Our Founders

Co-Founders Overview

Amoune Omer & Mahamud Elmi


The Somali Hope Foundation was co-founded by Amoune Omer and Mahamud Elmi, who were born in Somalia and arrived in Canada as refugees. They know first-hand the power of education, community, and hope. They are determined to share the transformative opportunity of education with youth in Somalia and around the world.

Mahamud and Amoune married in 2006 and have three children together. When Mahamud and Amoune met, they were two individuals with different upbringings who shared many similar traits. They shared a great love for giving back to others. Their experience as immigrants to Canada means that both of them appreciate the privilege of possessing things that many around the world are unable to enjoy; for example, education, which is why they decided in 2008 to begin to build and open a school for children in rural Somalia. They specifically chose rural areas since those tend to be forgotten and public services always arrive there last. As soon as they realized that goal, they began organizing fundraisers. As a result of the continued and supported efforts of the Somali Hope Academy Community in Ottawa and around the world, over 700 students (girls and boys) receive a free, high-quality, and equitable education. Without the support and generosity of our Ottawa community and all over the globe, this project would not have been possible. They are immensely proud of this achievement and grateful for all the support they have received and hope to continue to receive as they move forward. They would like to thank you all from the bottom of their heart on behalf of Hope Academy’s students and community education committee members.

Amoune Omer

Co-Founder | Executive Director

Amoune arrived in Canada with her mother in 1989 at the age of 5. Her mother, who was a single mother at the time, had hoped for a better life for them in Canada. They first arrived in Montreal where she lived most of her young life. She started in Harfang-des-Neiges elementary school and high school at Dorval-Jean-XXIII. During her last year of high school, Amoune moved to Ottawa and graduated high school in 2002 from école secondaire publique Omer-Deslauriers, a French public high school board – Conseil des écoles publiques de l’est de l’Ontario (CEPEO) in the West of Ottawa. She then pursued the Police Foundation Program at Collège La Cité, graduated in 2004, and was hired by the Canadian Federal Government where she started her career and is currently employed.