Youth Business Group – Electrical Installation Graduates

Jess Estrada's picture
Posted by Jess Estrada on
Fri, 02/13/2015

For young Somalis whose lives have been deeply disrupted by the legacy of conflict and displacement, the opportunity to learn job skills and begin a career is invaluable. With donations from the Bezos Family Foundation through the Students Rebuild One Million Bones Challenge, vocational training has meant a new start for some of the world’s most vulnerable youth – and, with them, the chance for a more peaceful and stable future in their communities. We offer a final post on the progress of young people assisted by the OMB Challenge.

Hussein Ali Adan (22), Yahya Ahmed Jama (20), Abdiqani Ahmed Du’ale (18), Ali Abdi Farah (22) and Ahmed Mohamed Said (21) were beneficiaries of skills training supported by the Students Rebuild One Million Bones Challenge. They joined CARE-supported vocational training in October 2013 to undertake a nine-month course in electrical installation at Galkacyo Vocational and Technical Center in Galkacyo, Puntland.

These young men now have a small shop for electrical appliances and services – selling and repairing equipment. Before joining the training program, all of them had dropped out of school and were unable to find any job opportunities to support themselves and their families. Moreover, they all were vulnerable to being lured into criminal activities such as clan conflict, piracy and illegal migration.  

These trainees graduated from the vocational training program. They participated in entrepreneurship training and took part in a business competition designed for youth who completed skills training programs under the larger umbrella program, the Somali Youth Leadership Initiative. The group won a grant of $2,000. Being able to establish a small business was the turning point of these young people’s lives. A post-training follow-up was conducted one month after their business was established.

Ali Abdi Farah said, “Our life has changed. We never thought we’d have our own business. We are very determined to keep running this business, sustain it and even make it bigger. Now we made a profit of $300 for the month of September 2014.”

The One Million Bones Challenge mobilized students worldwide to make bones as a symbol of solidarity with victims and survivors of ongoing conflict in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Somalia. Every handmade bone generated $1 from the Bezos Family Foundation for CARE's work in these regions, up to $500,000! On June, 8, 2013, one million handmade bones – made by students, educators and artists – covered the National Mall in Washington, D.C. as part of a massive art installation and visual petition against humanitarian crises.