HODI was established as a community-based organization in 2003 to address the inadequacy of access to legal services for the poor people of Marsabit. The organization was founded by Fatuma Adan, who was then a recent graduate of law. She shunned salaried employment at the Judiciary to, instead, provide a small legal aid desk with six volunteers for people who needed, but could not afford, legal representation in court cases. HODI was registered as an NGO in 2007. The organization has since grown to be the voice of championing peace and development in Marsabit through advocacy, education, community cohesion (through football) and livelihood support programs. Today, HODI has grown to over 25 members of staff and serves close to seven thousand people with offices in Marsabit and Moyale.