70 proud women and men graduated from our latest vocational training course in Somaliland in early December. The students, the majority of them women, accepted their qualifications in professional tailoring and garment design at a ceremony in Maansoor, as their friends and family watched.
The course was part of a vocational training project funded by Finn Church Aid (FCA) and implemented by the General Assistance and Volunteer Organization (GAVO) and the Horn of Africa Voluntary Youth Committee (HAVOYOVO).
Suhur Yusuf, a young and talented graduate, spoke about how the course changed her life, sporting her handmade gown.
“On the day of my university graduation, I nearly spent USD 200 on the graduation outfit, but today I spent just USD 10 on the dress, which I tailored with my own hands.”
Every student tailored their own gown in an incredible display of how much they’d learned on the course.
“Aside from these stunning dresses, what strikes me is how you blended colors to create a really attractive ensemble, demonstrating how our efforts are fruitful,” said Sahra–Kiin, an FCA representative.
Sustainable livelihood skills for the future
In addition to the students’ families and friends, the ceremony was attended by high-level guests, such as Abdirashid Ibrahim, Director of Ministry of Employment and Social Affairs.
“I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Finnish government, which is not only sponsoring this project but also many other development initiatives to support the Somaliland Government’s Development Plans,” he said.
Also in attendance were Ahmed Omar and Abdillahi Hassan, Executive Directors from GAVO and HAVOYOCO, who welcomed guests and explained to the audience the unique nature of this particular course wasn’t confined to the beautiful garments on display. They celebrated that an outstanding 46 students working in 12 groups had been chosen for start-up grants, while the others receive toolkits to help with their own businesses.
Finally, Qani Abdi, a representative of the Somaliland private sector discussed the importance of tailoring skills and gave a taste of how the graduates could turn their skills into a profitable business in the future.
“I am impressed by the designs you have displayed. That tells the advanced training you have received.”
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