Building a workforce equipped with vocational skills
It was a day for 732 graduates (331 female, 401 male) and their friends and families to applaud their successes, to reflect on their accomplishments, and to think about their future. In a colourful ceremony, the graduates received certificates after successfully completing 6-month courses in the following areas:
- Languages: Basic Mathematics, Somali, English and French (144)
- Computer, SPSS and QuickBooks (78)
- Early Childhood Education (50)
- Peace and conflict sensitive programing (120)
- Entrepreneurship (221)
- Tailoring (19)
- Plumbing (15)
- Catering (45)
- Painting (21)
- Electrical (19)
The trainings was held at the Peaceful Coexistence Centre and the Skills Production Centre, both managed by the Somalia programme of Action Africa Help International (AAH-I), with funding support from UNHCR.
244 of these graduates (33%) are refugees from Ethiopia and Yemeni now living in Hargeisa, Somaliland. 343 are Somali returnees, 94 are members of the host community and 51 are internally displaced persons.
The graduation event was attended by UNHCR Representative Caroline Van Buren, UNHCR Hargeisa Head of Office Xhemil Shahu, Special Envoy Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Affey, Government officials from Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, UNHCR partners and Refugee and Hosting communities committees.
During the event, Abdullah Keinan AAH Somalia Country Programme Manager presented certificates of appreciation to the UNHCR Representative Caroline Van Buren, UNHCR Hargeisa Head of Office Xhemil Shahu, while thanking the UN refugee agency for the support to refugees through its cooperation with AAH-I.
UNHCR Representative Ms. Caroline Van Buren congratulated the graduates and expressed her joy that over 40% of those now equipped with various skills are female. She encouraged all graduates to continue their good work and to utilize their knowledge to build their livelihoods.
Ethiopian Refugee Community Leader Imana Hailu and Yemeni Refugee Community Leader Mohamed Salim Hussein spoke at the event and highlighted how the lives of many of the people they represent have been positively changed through the skills conducted by AAH-I.
The theme of graduation event was ‘Integrated self-reliance and peaceful coexistence approach to support skills development and income generation’. The graduates received certificates and tool kits to start their own businesses. The skills training are within a project being implanted by AAH-I with funding from UNHCR, whose objective is to improve self-reliance and livelihood, and to promote integration and peaceful coexistence in Hargeisa. It is anchored within the UNHCR 2014-2018 Livelihoods Framework, UNHCR community-based approach and UNHCR community-based protection mechanism.