Sweet path to success: improving economic livelihoods for Somali women
“This training has given me confidence in myself and my skills to go out and make a living on my own,” says 22-year-old Hawa Osman. “The programme has given me access to skills and training that was previously unavailable to me,” she adds.
Hawa and 27-year-old Farhiya Mohamed, participated in hospitality training courses offered by the Vocational Training Centre (VTC) in Garowe, the regional capital of Puntland. The training, which is supported by the UK aid funded Sustainable Employment and Economic Development (SEED) programme, provided them with the knowledge to prepare various kinds of confectionaries and sweets.
Through the programme they were also able to get practical experience by taking part in a work placement at the Towfiiq Hotel and Restaurant in Garowe.
“Our trainer has great experience in this field and she makes everything easy and understandable,” says Farhiya.
Women supporting women
Faduma Sheik Adirahman, owner of the Towfiiq Hotel, was approached by the American Refugee Committee (ARC) to discuss her staffing and training needs. “As a woman, I was excited to be part of a programme that wants to help women stand on their own two feet,” Adirahman said.
“My workers are all men and it is good to have hard working women helping with our productivity. I want to hire Farhiya and Hawa if I open a new centre and I want to continue to work with the VTC here in Garowe as long as they continue to support women,” Adirahman added.
Improving women’s access to employment opportunities
The UK is working with women and young people in conflict affected communities in Somalia to improve economic and employment prospects. With an increase in women-headed households and families dependent on a woman’s income, these business-orientated training services provide a much needed focus on women’s access to employment opportunities across the country. This work is being carried out as part of the UK’s aim of creating long term stability in Somalia.
Whether or not they are given long term employment at the Towfiiq Hotel, Farhiya and Hawa are very optimistic about the future. “I have my own small shop and I plan to expand my business to include the different kinds of sweets I have learnt how to prepare,” Farhiya said.