Developing Skills for Life and Work

Our formal and informal training programs are designed to empower communities – for peace and prosperity.

Helping young people and adults develop the skills they need to lead more productive, peaceful, and self-sufficient lives is a core part of Adeso’s work.

We collaborate with key people from local communities to co-create training programs that meet the specific skill requirements of each community.

Our training programs have an important, practical role to play in our humanitarian and development work. This includes:

  • Helping vulnerable people improve their livelihoods or gain a new livelihood
  • Promoting disaster risk reduction strategies at the community level
  • Encouraging good hygiene and sanitation practices for improved community health
  • Promoting sustainable natural resource management to better protect livelihoods like pastoralism
  • Building the capacity of the humanitarian community to deliver cash transfer programs

The Need

Adeso has been helping pastoralist youth gain leadership skills in Northern Somalia and Northern Kenya, with a focus on both girls and boys. The Pastoralist Youth Program (PYP) and the Mobile Non-Formal Education Program (MNFE) both grew from the need for a curriculum and model of education that was accessible, useful and meaningful to pastoralist communities. 

At 20 per cent, Marsabit County in Northern Kenya, has one of the lowest literacy rates in the country. Here only around 17 per cent of those over six years of age have ever attended school. This is attributed to cultural practices like early marriages that force young girls to drop out of school, as well as extreme poverty which renders even basic formal education inaccessible.

Skills for Life

Adeso’s PYP was developed in order to make Somali communities more self-reliant and enhance rural livelihoods and peace. Developed in partnership with local authorities, PYP has provided non-formal education to students on topics relevant to their own lives including: animal health, human health, governance and leadership, as well as natural resource management.

MNFE provides non-formal education and vocational skills training to 300 girls from pastoralist communities, in order to empower them economically by building their capacity to participate in their local communities.

Leadership for the 21st Century

In all of our work we consistently focus on building leadership skills that are grounded in democratic values and human rights. It is this approach which we believe will create the strong, stable and fair communities a 21st century Africa needs.


One of PYP’s greatest achievements has been its ability to empower girls in Northern Somalia. Since its inception, Adeso has trained thousands of students, of which 80 per cent are female. After graduating, students often play a key role in their communities, providing leadership in areas like disaster preparedness, mitigation, and coping strategies. They are at the forefront of community.

Building on Success

It is hoped that through documentation and dissemination of positive outcomes and lessons learnt from Adeso’s nascent MNFE project and PYP that Adeso will be able to encourage and influence other actors to scale up this model to provide the remaining 50,000 girls with skills for work and life in Northern Kenya.