Mogadishu, 16 October 2015--- Growing up amidst conflict has left many Somali youth disillusioned and concerned about their current situation as well as their future. Recent gains in governance, peace, and security have seen hope gradually returning, and many youth are optimistic of a prosperous country.
Thirty-four youth (17 females and 17 males aged between 18 and 30) from the 17 districts of Mogadishu recently participated in the Participatory Planning Workshop for the One Stop Youth Centre. They were brought together under the auspices of the Benadir Regional Youth Association (BARYA) working in close collaboration with the Benadir Regional Authority.
The youth reviewed the current situation of youth in Mogadishu and participated in a visioning and planning exercise. They eventually selected six of their representatives (four males, two females) as trainers of trainers for the first set of activities, which will include engaging fellow youth and the community in Sinay (Warta Nabada District).
This is where UN-Habitat, through the UN Joint Programme for Youth Employment, is supporting the development of Mogadishu’s first One Stop Youth Centre and skills training for youth. “We have to promote the participation of young women in our community,” said Khadra Moallim, youth trainer at BARYA.
For many young women like Khadra, participating in such processes enables them to engage with the community and contribute their opinions, knowledge, and skills. “I will share what I have learned with my fellow women, so we can have more young women leading as well,” added Khadija Abdikadir Fiki, one of the selected youth trainers of trainers.
Speaking during the workshop, Abdi Kafi Makaraan, chairperson of BARYA, commended the youth for their enthusiasm and active participation. The workshop, which also focused on youth-led development and leadership, further explored opportunities for the engagement of youth with the Benadir Regional Authority and local communities, urging all the youth representatives to contribute in positive ways towards developing their city.
“The proposed One Stop Youth Centre will enable more youth to have youth activities,” noted Mustaf Mahame Ahmed, who lives in the community where the youth centre will be developed. For many youth in Mogadishu, a return to normalcy coupled with economic growth, peace, and development is what they truly yearn for. UN-Habitat, together with ILO, FAO, and UNDP, is implementing the UN Joint Programme on Youth Employment, in partnership with the Federal Government of Somalia.