Somaliland: Nomadic Education and Pastoral Youth Leadership Case Study: Maymuun Mohamed Ali


Maymuun Mohamed Ali

Somalilandsun – Maymuun Mohamed Ali has been in the Pastoral Youth Leadership Case Study-PYL program since 2009. “I’m lucky that I got taken in for the program. My father had just died and Mum was unemployed. I had 6 other siblings and there was no way we could all go to school. I was sent to live with one of my older sisters in Badhan. She told me about the PYL program and here I am now.”

Maymuun’s family are pastoralists who had last settled near Habarshiro area, Sanaag region. The nineteen year old was the youngest in the family. She had never been to any formal schooling but had been taught a few basics, such as the alphabet and some mathematics, from her father before he passed away.

“I was quite shy when I started but gained confidence and knowledge as time went on. The training I received in lobbying and advocacy as well as the Leadership/Governance module in the curriculum helped a lot. We pastoralists, as with Somalis in general, have an oral tradition. The ability to speak up and to be listened to gives you great power, power to be able to make a change.”

Maymuun graduated in 2011 with one of the highest exam scores in her class coming in the top ten, out of almost 50 students. “I hope to go on to secondary school and then to university. I want to be a doctor for female patients, maybe a gynecologist. FGM is still a big issue in pastoral settings and I want to be able to lead decisions on women’s rights in the pastoral setting.”

“The PYL program gives pastoral youth the chance to learn skills that are relevant to their livelihood. They may already know a few things but their knowledge is increased and hopefully, in a way that they can prevent their livelihood from dying out.”

More details of the Pastoral Youth Leadership