Mohamed Abdi Adan, manager of the Skillful International College, works at his office in Adado town, central Somalia, on April 3, 2023. (Photo by Abdi/Xinhua)
The Skillful International College in Adado town, central Somalia, is currently a hub for providing youngsters with market-driven skills, in a bid to empower youth to contribute immensely to Somalia's reconstruction after decades of civil strife, and the practice has been praised greatly.
MOGADISHU, April 4 (Xinhua) -- From a distance, the Skillful International College in Adado town, central Somalia, looks like an ordinary tertiary institution, but upon interacting with the managers and students, its prestigious status comes to the fore.
At the entrance to the college, one is greeted by its bold motto engraved on a king-size billboard that reads "Where champions are made."
One needs to jostle with students milling around books tucked on their armpits to find space in the corridors to walk.
The number of young men and women rushing in or out of lecture rooms where diverse courses are taught was evident even as the Somali youth defy instability in their motherland to chart a brighter future for themselves.
Osman Mohamed Daleel, an orphan, is one of the youths whose dream of becoming an ICT professional was realized upon the inception of the college.
On a balmy afternoon, he was busy exploring different computer programs under the supervision of his tutor, Abdiwahab Girig.
"If it were not for the opportunity given to me by the college, I would have either been lured into crime to earn a living or would have risked looking for greener pastures by migrating illegally overseas," Daleel told Xinhua in a recent interview in Adado town. "But at least I have developed computer skills which can help me seek employment with local charities, work as a tutor or start my cyber cafe."
Students take an exam in computer skills at a computer lab in Adado town, central Somalia, on April 3, 2023. (Photo by Abdi/Xinhua)
The college, which was started in 2022 by a group of youth to help shield their idle peers from crime or joining extremist groups, is currently a hub for providing youngsters with market-driven skills.
Mohamed Abdi Adan, the college's manager, said the college offers diverse courses such as English, ICT, guidance and counseling, and catering skills that have helped the youth secure employment or start profitable business ventures and dissuade them from migrating overseas to look for opportunities.
"The college has defied odds by coming up with several innovative ideas, aimed at not only promoting peace and stability in the region but also supporting the government of Somalia's efforts to recover from the lingering effects of civil strife," Adan said.
He added that the college is also educating the youth on leadership skills and responsible citizenry, thereby inspiring them to contribute toward Somalia's reconstruction.
A photography student at the college said his life changed when he learned how to shoot photographs using a camera.
"I was used to shooting using an AK47, but now, a camera forms part of the tool of the trade I have embraced. I use the photographic skills I acquired in telling positive stories to the world," the student said.
Farah Diriye Warsame, the Adado District Commissioner, hailed the college for its immense contribution to Somalia's rebuilding amid the provision of technical and life skills to the youth.
"As a government, we challenge the youth to take advantage of the existing opportunities provided by the college, which is the initiative of selfless local youth, and enroll for educational programs that are offered at a subsidized fee," Warsame said.
Sabrin Hassan Mohamed, a 23-year-old hotel proprietor in Adado town, said the college has inspired the youth to participate in rebuilding their motherland besides providing solutions to crime and other social ills.
Sabrin, who recently graduated from the Horn of Africa University's Adado campus, said the majority of Somali youth are no longer interested in undertaking risky ventures like migrating across on their way to the gulf to look for greener pastures.
Mohamed Sharif, an educationist and director of the Youth Empowering Council (YECO) based in Adado town, said that empowered youth will contribute immensely to Somalia's reconstruction after decades of civil strife.
His sentiments were shared by Aisha Abdullahi, a youth leader in Adado town who observed that her peers who have pursued post-secondary education are making huge contributions towards transforming the livelihoods of their families and the community. ■