New skills, a better future
Engaging youth in improving water, hygiene and sanitation services
“This is a great skill have, and I feel so proud of it,” says 22-year-old Abdillahi Mahad Shalle excitedly. The young plumber trained at the Dalxiiska Training Centre in Kismayo and he is now fixing hand, electric and solar pumps and doing water piping jobs.
When he was offered the possibility to join the training, he didn’t think twice. “The elders came to my home one day and informed me about training. I decided immediately to take the opportunity and chose the plumbing course,” Abdillahi says.
“The training changed my life for the better. I’m able to comfortably provide food for my family and I can even buy somethings for myself,”
“The training changed my life for the better,” he explains. He was forced to drop out of primary school at a young age because his family was not able to afford his school fees. Without an education and skills, it was difficult for him to find any employment and before the training, he depended on his mother for everything. Now, he can manage his own life. “I’m able to comfortably provide food for my family and I can even buy somethings for myself,” he clarifies happily.
Abdillahi works for the Juba Water Supply as a plumbing technician and he also does some work independently. “This is a marketable skill. Every house, every institution needs plumbing services sometimes,” he says. “I make on average 15 dollars for every job. But I don’t only earn an income, I have also gained respect from my community and family. I am able to help and cater to people’s needs,” he adds.
The COVID-19 outbreak has had a negative impact on his community. Many people have lost their jobs and income. “It’s a disaster,” he sums up. “There is no food in the camp for the internally displaced and I am now responsible for providing food for my relatives' families,” he notes.
“It’s a disaster. There is no food in the camp for the internally displaced and I am now responsible for providing food for my relatives' families.”
Still, he feels grateful for being able to continue working. He is happy he’s learned a practical skills and found employment. “I urge young people to learn new skills, so that they can manage their lives,” he concludes.
ADRA, in collaboration with UNICEF and state authorities, through the Youth Engagement in WASH Services project, established the Dalxiiska training centre in Kismayo. The centre trains young people in various skills ranging from plumbing to pump repairs, to installing and repairing solar panels, to constructing and desludging latrines, and making soap and henna applications. More than 400 young people, aged between 15 to 25 years, have been trained and empowered. They are engaged in providing water, hygiene and sanitation services in camps for the internally displaced in Kismayo and, as a result, 10,000 internally displaced people in the camps have access to improved services.