By Bashir Abdifatah | DRC Somalia
One in three young people in Somalia are unemployed. Many grew up in an unsafe environment and had no access to education. Lack of job opportunities and skills development are increasingly leading youth to join extremist and other violent groups. To help tackle this, the BORESHA project Somalia Technical Vocational and Skills Training Program (TVET) is supporting young people to gain the skills they need to meet current market demands.
Ali Hassan is a young man who, like many others, fled conflict in the capital of Mogadishu and now lives in Kabasa IDP camp in Doolow District. He is 23 years old and a father of three children. There is one thing that separates Ali from his peers and that is his love for cars. Ever since he could remember, he has been passionate about cars and was always curious as to how they are built and how they function. He describes himself as a car enthusiast, he enjoys working on cars, modifying them and would love to own one in the near future. Ali took up the auto mechanics course provided by BORESHA. When we quizzed him further on his passion he explained that “there are many reasons for his enthusiasm, but the main one is that cars provide a sense of freedom and independence, the ability to go where you want and when you want is something many take for granted, I am confident that one day I will own a car myself.”
The Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector is one of the major parts of the education and training systems and plays a crucial role for youth in the Gedo region. The DRC- BORESHA project is supporting more than 20 students to learn new skills through enterprise-based TVET.
The program aims to contribute to quality vocational training for young people in Dollow, Somalia, and create lasting linkages between technical and vocational training institutes and the labor market, thus facilitating decent and sustainable wage or self-employment for young people. A major challenge to the achievement of a harmonized and comprehensive Enterprise based TVET qualification system is the quality of training that companies provide. As there is hardly any standardized curriculum in the TVET system in Somalia, the quality depends largely on the trainers.
“Like any other child I had dreams and aspirations of a better life, unfortunately due to the conflict, I was not able to access education like other children in other countries”, says Ali. “If there is one thing I have learned throughout my life is that we should never take education for granted as if it is available to all. It is a great gift and a privilege that opens many doors to unlimited opportunities. Through education one is empowered and provided with the necessary tools and skills to change the world”, he adds.
Ali is not only a student at the Horeseed Garage in Dollow, he also earns a small income by using his skills to fix some of the cars at the garage, this income is what sustains his family.
“I have gained practical skills that have enabled me to earn a small income to sustain the livelihood of my family. I have plans to open my own business, I never thought such opportunities existed”, Ali explains.
Eight mechanics have been trained at the TVET center in Dollow (Horseed Company) and have been dispatched them to several motor mechanic companies. The best students are hired by the Horeseed Company.