Background of organization

Creative Alternatives Now (CAN) was established in 2011 by a group of Somali diaspora and non-Somalis based in Canada, the UK and in East Africa. The founding members of CAN were extremely moved, and some were personally affected, by the 2011 drought that ravaged the East Africa region and decided to act in response. We are a group of passionate humanitarian and development change agents who are committed to give back and support communities to overcome poverty and conflict.  This bold initiative resulted in CAN collaborating with HOPE International to respond to the 2011 Somalia drought and famine situation by identifying and helping families who had not yet received help or were unable to access aid as the crisis continued to deepen.  

Today CAN is a full registered entity in Somalia, Somaliland and Kenya, as follows:

  • Registered in Somalia at the Federal Government and the Banadir Regional Administration Municipality. The registration number is 0118. 

  • Registered at the Somaliland Ministry of National Planning and Development, under the registration number of MNP&C/DP/37/1930/23171/11.

  • Registered in the Republic of Kenya at the Ministry of Devolution and Planning. It is registration number in Kenya is OP.218/051/14-0453/10061.

Our Vision


CAN believes that everyone should be able to enjoy their fundamental rights, have control over their life’s and opportunities for full social engagement and participation.  

Our Mission

CAN works to alleviate suffering and improve the lives of the poor and marginalised communities in Somalia and Kenya. We do this by focusing on poverty and vulnerability in towns and rural areas and developing and implementing local initiatives to support IDPs and marginalised communities.


Our Core Values

CAN is an independent international organisation that strives for accountability, transparency and integrity.

CAN brings about long-term sustainable change by bringing together and working with national, local partners and international community.

CAN strives to be a diverse organisation working inclusively and respecting the views of the community.



Our Methodoogy and Approach


CAN’s underlying approach is built upon understanding the context/local dynamics, ongoing consultation with key stakeholders, meaningful involvement and participation of communities, civil society, inclusion and non-discrimination, transparency and information, pragmatism and flexibility, cooperation and coordination. We use the following approaches.

Conflict sensitivity: Conflict sensitivity is a tool to understand the context in which an organisation is operating, the interaction between the intervention and that context and to act upon that understanding, in order to avoid negative impacts and maximize positive impacts on the context.

Advocacy for Peacebuilding: The component seeks to raise pertinent policy issues with relevant local, regional, national and international authorities.

Community support and engagement: This approach focuses on promoting and supporting local ownership of project activities by ensuring participation and representation of communities at every stage programming to ensure effectiveness and sustainability of activities.

Participatory approaches: Participation is a central approach to our work, with a wide range of relevant stakeholders engaged in the full project cycle of planning implementation, monitoring, evaluation and learning.