Mogadishu 17 July 2017 - A programme targeting Somali youth was recently launched in Mogadishu.

Meaning ‘to work’ in Somali, the Shaqesyo programme is an intensive three month integrated and comprehensive training programme which addresses the needs of the youth through three core activities including: 120 hours of comprehensive life skills training with a new curriculum developed by UN-Habitat—Somalia; 120 hours of vocational (construction) training with a new curriculum developed by UN-Habitat—Somalia; 20 hours of ‘build your own business’ entrepreneurial training delivered through a licensed curriculum and business development trainer and up to 240 hours of community works activities guided by various stakeholders including UN-Habitat—Somalia, youth participants themselves city officials, and partner groups in the city.

World Youth Skills Day, taking place on July 17th, sheds light on the needs of youth to gain tangible skills for the employment sector and the foundation of which is underscored in programmes for vulnerable young women and men in Somalia such as the Shaqeyso Programme.

It is well noted that youth can play an active and valuable role in bringing peace and development to their country. In a country like Somalia, where youth form a significant portion of the population, the inclusion of youth across social, political and economic aspects of development is even more relevant.

Offering a unique combination of skills training, personal development, and the opportunity for youth to support in the development of their communities; 180 vulnerable youth from 6 districts of Mogadishu: Hawl-Wadag, Shingani, Bondhere, Shibis, Karan and Abdi-Aziz were registered for the first cohort. Ensuring that there are equal opportunities for all, the participation of young females was highly encouraged and culminating in the registration of 70 female into the program.

Completing the first month of the programme, the youth have immensely benefited from the programme learning about the core concepts of conflict management, problem-solving, decision-making, interpersonal and communication skills, teamwork and cooperation and understanding youth rights while also gaining vocational training skills in construction the combination of which will make them marketable to the local economy.
Avenues for achieving sustainability are built into the program through entrepreneurial training as well as training which teaches youth how to establish their own, or a collaborative, production site providing them with the foundational management tools to successfully establish a small scale business start-up.

In addition to building the capacity of the youth, the program has become a platform for youth to engage with a range of local and federal leaders including His Excellency Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, the President of Somalia. Visiting the ongoing program, the President had the opportunity to observe the benefits the program brought for youth in the city of Mogadishu
Observing youth participating in the life skills and vocational skills training, the President had the chance to appreciate the benefits the program brought for youth in the city of Mogadishu. Taking the time to engage with the youth directly, he encouraged the young women and men to continue with the training highlighting the how the great optimism of youth to make a change can contribute to the development of their nation.

Investing in the employment of young people means investing in the present and future of our societies. With improved education outcomes, relevant skills and competencies, and access to decent jobs, youth can help accelerate progress on the 2030 Agenda, fostering a prosperous, sustainable and equitable socio-economic environment for all.