Somali youth complete first year of peace, security projects

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Somali youth in Galkacyo meet in small group
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In Galkacyo, Somalia, young people are working to improve school security and build trust among communities divided by conflicts.

introduction to Galkacyo celebration

Through a yearlong youth leadership program, they learned how to work with people of different viewpoints, values, and perspectives, and how to interact with public officials and others to get things done.

In one project, a group of students from Hormud Primary School replaced five wooden classroom doors with metallic ones. Thieves had previously broken into their classes and stolen chairs. Consequently, the school administration, parents, and pupils lived in fear of thieves.

improving school safety
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The young people thought that the best solution was to put stronger doors on their classes, as pictured here.

result of improving school security

The school now looks more beautiful, and community members say that chairs, books, and other teaching materials in the classroom are secure.

Another group led the repair of 10 kilometers that link Mudud (Puntland State) and Galmudug (South Central Somalia). This road passes through a red line that divides Puntland and South Central Somalia. For many years, the red line has been a no-crossing line, particularly for men. 

Repairing road in Somalia
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As young people worked on improving the road, they were able to mobilize communities living on both sides of the line, thus increasing contacts between them and contributing toward building confidence among communities divided by conflicts.

Suad speaking to celebrants at Somalia celebration
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The projects helped community membersyoung and old—see the peace-building role that young people could play. Suad, pictured here speaking to 500 community members who gathered in late February to celebrate a year of progress, said that she gained the confidence to talk in public through the program.

community support for young somalis as peace builders

The public achievement program has also gained support from the community.

One community leader said, “I didn’t believe the youth could one day think of working towards a better Somalia. It is a real breakthrough since they are able to think of solutions of community problems they have identified.” 

Learn more about the yearlong program.

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