Somaliland: DRC Skills training for Displaced Youth Comes to Age


Author: Danish Refugee CouncilParents in Ainabo anticipate much from graduated youths

Somalilandsun – Learning a new trade is one step closer to finding a job to make a living in Hargeisa, Somaliland’s main city. With high unemployment rates and limited chances of opening doors to the job market, many young men and women are idle and stuck in poverty.

After six months intensive vocational training, 24 students received certificates at a ceremony in Hargeisa this week.

The NGO GAVO together with Danish Refugee Council-DRC organized the graduation ceremony for the 24 students who all have a background as internally displaced.

The 17 young women and seven men have all participated in vocational skills trainings during the past half year with students now having graduated as trained tailors, electricians and beauticians, as well as numeracy and literacy skills capacity building. At the ceremony attended by Somaliland Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Mohamud Ahmed Barre and other officials, successful graduates received a financial grant and the tool related to their new trade, to help them increase their chances of future employment.

‘There is a large and imminent need for assistance to the youth in Somaliland. They have very limited or no chances to get out of unemployment and poverty and some instead turn to illegal migration to get out of this deadlock,’ says Martin Vane, Danish Refugee Council’s Manager in Somaliland.

Danish Refugee Council’s support to vocational skills trainings is part of a longer term strategy to improve access to employment for different marginalized groups in Somaliland.

During 2013, Danish Refugee Council has been able to support more than 500 Somali women living in Hargeisa displaced by conflict and consequences of natural hazards. In addition, 80 female victims of violence have received small scale business trainings and grants as part of the programme.

In eastern Somaliland, nearly 2,300 vulnerable men and women – 190 in Ainabo and 2,100 in El Efweyne – have been part of Danish Refugee Council assistance enabling them to support their families through Cash for Work and Food for Work projects. These projects benefit on multiple levels, ensuring the most vulnerable a daily income while contributing to society through working on recovery of community assets – e.g. restoring canals and build flood diversions in order to support future livelihoods and increase community resilience towards consequences of natural hazards.

See also the article in the East African on Danish Refugee Council’s Cash for Work projects in Somaliland

Danish Refugee Council’s activities in Somaliland mentioned above are funded by the European Commission’s Office for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) and World Food Programme (WFP)