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Somalia, 12 November 2015: Graduates from UNICEF’s Learning for Peace Programme set for a brighter future

© UNICEF Somalia/2015
A teacher at the Learning for Peace Programme is given a ring by a student as a mark of appreciation from her class.

MOGADISHU 12 November 2015 – A graduation ceremony for 123 youth learners who took part in the UNICEF-supported Learning for Peace Programme was held in Mogadishu. The graduates finished 10 months of vocational training in car mechanics, electrical wiring, tailoring and tie dye and two month work placements. This ceremony, the third of its kind, was organized by UNICEF’s partner, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), to award certificates and start-up kits. Parents and relatives, youth committees, educationalists, poets and representatives from the UN and NGOs took part.

The Programme benefits children and youth from communities affected by conflict, with girls being given the same opportunities as boys. The Programme, funded by the Dutch Government, supports seven Youth Education Pack Centres (YEP), offering students vocational skills such as carpentry, tailoring and beauty care, as well as basic literacy and numeracy.

All the speakers at the graduation emphasized how the project provided important education opportunities for youth who missed out earlier. Asli Omar Mohamed, a Norwegian Somali with a beauty salon in Mogadishu who provided job placements for five young women, stated it was very important for the youth not to migrate but to stay and work in their country.

During the ceremony the graduates also awarded their teachers with gifts to thank them for their work.

Learning for Peace is a global programme, which aims to strengthen resilience, social cohesion and human security in countries experiencing or recovering from conflict. In south-central Somalia, UNICEF has supported the building and rehabilitating of four Youth Education centres in Mogadishu, Baidoa and Kismayu and Dollow. Three more centres have been opened in Puntland.

Non-formal youth education under the Learning for Peace programme targets 2,150 boys and girls between 14 and 24. After the training at the Centres, the students will receive support from UNICEF and NRC to find internships and jobs, while others will be supported with necessary tools to start their own businesses.



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