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Hundreds of youth graduate with new skills from a Japan-supported peace building programme

UNICEF Somalia/2017/Hashi
© UNICEF Somalia/2017/Hashi
Young people wait to be awarded their certificates at the graduation ceremony in the YEP centre, Mogadishu.

By Mohamud Hashi, UNICEF Somalia Education Officer

Mogadishu, Somalia, 25 May 2017 – A proud group of 350 young people took part in a graduation ceremony after successfully completing a course under the UNICEF peace building programme. The young people celebrated in front of guests at the Youth Education Pack (YEP) centre in Mogadishu.

The young people, including 222 girls, learnt new skills in carpentry, tailoring, beauty, cooking, information technology, numeracy and literacy while attending the course. The programme is designed to help vulnerable Somali youth work towards a brighter future and a chance of finding a livelihood.

The programme, funded by the Government of Japan, has enabled over 1,500 displaced, returnee and host community youth to have access to quality and relevant vocation skills, helping to provide livelihood opportunities and contributing to peace and social cohesion in Somalia.

One beneficiary of the programme was Khadiija Ali Mohamed. Born in Somalia, she had lived in Yemen for 13 years and was unemployed. She decided to return home to Somalia and once in Mogadishu, her parents urged her to join the YEP centre so she could learn new skills.

Speaking at the ceremony, she said: “I had no skills and did not know what to do in order to survive. Now I have learnt new skills and have been provided with a start-up kit so that I can earn money and manage my livelihood and future.”

UNICEF Somalia/2017/Hashi
© UNICEF Somalia/2017/Hashi
Khadiija Ali Mohamed spoke about how she could make a better future for herself after graduating from the youth peace building programme.

The graduates completed one year of vocational training with support from the Norwegian Refugee Committee and Education Ministry and were awarded certificates and kits to help set up their own businesses. This was the fifth graduation of its kind that has taken place in Mogadishu.

In Somalia, lack of employment is the main cause of youth frustration as two thirds of Somali young people do not have jobs leaving them vulnerable to becoming involved in crime or armed groups.

Through the grant, seven Youth Employment Pack (YEP) centres have been equipped and furnished in Mogadishu, Kismayo, Doolow, Qardho, Gaalkacyo, Garowe and Bossaso towns.

70 Technical and Vocational Education and Training instructors have been trained and 49 Community Education Committee (CEC) members (7 per centre) supported in centre management.



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