A Brighter Future for the young men of Badhan, Somalia

Published November 21, 2014 by Idil B. Ahmed

At first glance, you see a group of young men sitting in a classroom quietly working on electrical units – a typical scene in many countries. But when you look further, you see young men carving a future for themselves in a small town where such opportunities rarely present themselves.

In the rural community of Badhan, in the Sanaag region of Somalia, job opportunities and job trainings are almost non-existent. This electrical skills training program, which started October 1, 2014 and will run for six months, targets 20 young men in the community who will be trained at Himilo Vocational Training Center in Badhan.

The trainings are part of the European Union funded Social Safety Nets Phase II (SSN II) project, implemented by Adeso and Save the Children. This particular training is preparing young men for a career in the electrical field, and at the end of the six months they will be given a livelihood grant of USD $650 each to start their own business.

Mohamud Ahmed Issa, the instructor, owns a small electrical company in Badhan and expresses his eagerness to train these young men.

“I combine a practical training with classroom instruction,” he says. “These are young boys who would otherwise be getting into less than ideal situations. With this training, we are able to give them a skill they are proud of, and something that they can bring to their own communities,” he adds.

Mr. Issa has gone above and beyond the call of duty, giving a few of the students the opportunity to work with him on specific jobs, while providing them with small incentives.

“I think the hands-on training and the ability to see that money can be earned from this job really provides them a realistic view of having a job and earning money the right way,” he explains.

At the young age of 19, Omar Ahmed Ali is one of the star apprentices in the classroom.

“This is the first time I have ever had a skills training and I am really enjoying it. I didn’t know how much was involved in electrical work, or that I even needed to learn anything from a book,” he says. “I really see a future for myself now, I didn’t have that before. With this I am learning something that will not only benefit me and my family, but my whole town. I like the idea of being able to help my town out, instead of them hiring outside contractors – we can be those contractors!”

This training has provided hope for these young men, and for the town as a whole. The Himilo Center’s manager, Mohamed Nofaqo, was also pleased with Adeso’s involvement. He explained that the Center used to hold skill trainings such as these, but they had not been able to do them lately due to lack of funds.

“I am glad Adeso has been able to come in and give us the extra push we needed. This is beneficial to the community to get our youth involved and working. We even plan on adding girls to our next training. We didn’t think they would be interested in something like this, but have had some young ladies approach us about getting involved. We are hoping with Adeso’s help, we can make this happen for some of the young ladies in the communities,” he adds.

The future only looks brighter for these young men and with their hard work and dedication they will truly be assets in their communities and enrich their own lives in the process. With support from other donors, Adeso hopes to be able to scale-up this project in the future and provide such opportunities to other young men and women in the region.

The skills trainings are part of a series of various trainings to include animal husbandry, tailoring, and carpentry that will reach a total of 200 participants. Adeso will train 100 people in the Sanaag Region, while Save the Children will train another 100 in Karkaar, Bari Region.

This project is made possible with the assistance of the European Union. The contents of this story are the sole responsibility of Adeso and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.