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Somalia, 13 January 2017: Former labourer Abdirahman plans to be an engineer thanks to ‘Educate a Child’

© UNICEF Somalia/2016
Abdirahman enjoys working in his classroom.

JOWHAR, Middle Shabelle, Somalia, January 2017 – Just six months ago, 14 year old Abdirahman stepped inside a classroom for the first time. Now he is a keen maths student and can read and write in Somali. “I want to be an engineer,” he says.

Abdirahman lives in in Jowhar District in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle Region, an area with little access to education and many other basic services. Abdirahman’s mother is very poor and his father abandoned the family. There wasn’t enough money to send him to school, and he was forced to find work as a casual labourer to help the family. He describes his life before he was enrolled at school as ‘dark’ with little hope for the future.

When a friend told him about a UNICEF-supported Alternative Basic Education (ABE) school in his village, Abdirahman knew this could be his chance for an education. His sister looked into it and after meeting the school management, she was able to enroll Abdirahman and he moved in with her and her family. He is doing well in his new school, and looking forward to the future.

“This is an opportunity for me to explore more options in life. I can now read and write and I am safe from the hard labour I used to perform,” says Abdirahman with a big smile.

To ensure out-of-school children like Abdirahman can access quality basic education that can adapt to their lifestyle, UNICEF works with local authorities and other partners to support Alternative Basic Education (ABE). ABE interventions include temporary learning spaces, accelerated curriculum, flexible timetables, interactive radio instruction and appropriate and relevant reading materials, education kits, teacher resources, and other materials to help provide quality, relevant, and flexible educational opportunities for pastoralist children.

With the generous support of Educate A Child (EAC), UNICEF Somalia provides access to quality primary education for out-of-school, marginalised children like Abdirahman. Since the start of the project, 40,594 out-of-school children have been enrolled in educational services. The project aims to improve access to education for 64,000 out-of-school children in marginalised communities across Somalia. The project will provide instructional materials, including school supplies, textbooks and teacher guides to over 300 schools, and construct, rehabilitate and furnish 800 classrooms and train over 2,000 teachers, to ensure a quality education.



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