April 30, 2015. A historic day for Professor Adow Vocational Training Center in Galkacyo, Somalia. The day marks the first semester ending at the school, and completion of eight months of intensive training for 61 students. The first class is ready to build Somalia!
The graduation ceremony began at 8.30. Tents and chairs, stage and sound system is in place for the occasion. Students are excited and many guests are invited.
Time to reflect on the past while planning for the future, it’s a time to celebrate accomplishments and find inspiration for life beyond the big day.
Jamal Salah, Director GSA, Yme`s local partner in Somalia since 2006
- Grandaunts i.e. (58 boys and 3 girls) are projected to graduate today.
- Electricity 19
- Plumbing 16
- Plastering and tiling 10
- Bricklaying and making 16
A comprehensive assessment and evaluation is done to identify and reflect the individual standard and qualification level based on theoretical test and practical evaluation worksheet.
All the graduates were awarded with a course certificate on each unit with a conferment from Norsom Director Prof Mohamed Elmi and Deputy President Galmudug state.
The management decided to further award the 12 best graduates with prizes. Among these 12 were 3 girls graduates.
– We have to honor this group for their exemplary work. By entering the male dominated world of work, they are the first females to undergo such a training in Galkacyo, the school principal George Agutu said.
Several guests were present, headed by Region Deputy President, Ministers, other Ngo`s officials, women group leaders, students parents and community residents.
Speaker after speaker praised sponsors and the training center for the development and progress they have created in the region.
– To guarantee women, youth and disabled access to vocational training is an unique example to advance the economic status of this group and I may urge other NGO`s especially from Galkayo to follow the GSA/YME/NorSom lead, the Deputy President said.
Fight the cycle of poverty
The Mayor to the Galkacyo said the project can be described as “a great initiative” to fight the “cycle of poverty” among the youth and women. He called for developing the training center to offer more chances to the discouraged youth in this region.
Change for the better
Parliamentary Chairman and Head of another NGO in Galkacyo was happy with the project and had to say;
– I am very much encouraged by these statistics, it is a clear indication that GSA/YME/NorSom is making good progress in empowering our young girls with skills and competence to allow them enter the male dominated world of work. A training provider which values the impact vocational education and training can have, not only on the empowerment of young people but more importantly on their communities and our country as a whole. A vocational school such as this is able to transform itself but more importantly the society it serves, it should be an agent of change, change for the better, he said.
Yme/GSA/NorSom have taken steps to empower young women by giving them qualification that have been reserved for men.
An elder from Hiiraan region, 350 km from Galkacyo where among some of the dignitaries that provide significant speech directed to young students about the crucial role they will play: – From today onwards you will become most important and recognized citizen of this country. We are expecting you to deliver and transform Galkacyo and its environment to a better place with quality housings. You will be a driving force to our economy towards future.
An encouraging speech particularly directed to the young girls from Women Group Leader “Midnimo” & member of Galmudg Parliament urged the graduates to further deepen their newly acquired knowledge and skill through practical endeavors and thereby ensure their bright future, and back to the community. The respected and prominent parliamentarian went on to narrate some of the traditional taboos towards educating women and girls to vocational training skills and clearly emphasized the urgent need of capacity building and training towards empowering women and the youth at large into better professional and income generating skills.
We don`t need magic
Adow`s Head Teacher and instructor of plastering and tiling inspired grandaunts with this:
– We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves, we have the skill, we have the tool box, we have the power to imagine better!
Ymes special advisor on Somalia and Director of Norsom talks of future improvements and extensions of more courses in the next session and urges youth and the community at large to use this opportunity to gain skill knowledge and motivation to improve their economic circumstances. He said that carpentry, welding and motor mechanics courses shall be introduced in the 2nd phase of the program.