“I was in a prison for years.”
That is how her life felt. A crumpled life surrounded by imaginary walls with nothing else to do but stare at them all day long. It was a place of quiet suffocation.
37-year-old Sadiyo Mohamed Khadif, felt suffocated with the life she was living. Married with seven children and living in Kismayo, she relied on her husband for the family’s needs.
“I had no other option,” she recalls.
“I had no skills.”
In conversation with friends, Sadiyo got to know about Awale centre.
“I heard about the Awale centre from friends and decided to inquire what they had to offer,” she states.
ADRA Somalia has adopted the Enterprise Based Technical and Vocational Education Training (EB-TVET) model that aims to empower the participants to become self-employed after completing the course. This approach allows learners to gain skills for a specific job, allowing them to learn skills of their interest. The courses run for one to six months. EB-TVET has been initiated in existing non-formal education (NFE) centres in Kismayo, Wisil, Belethawo and Dolow in South Central Somalia.
At the Awale NFE centre in Kismayo, Sadiyo found her freedom. She was finally inhaling a new breathe of air. This is where she wanted to be. She had found what she wanted, and she went for it.
And in October 2017, Sadiyo started her journey in becoming a tailor.
“I took the tailoring course because there is a high demand for clothes-both for sewing and mending,” she states.
After her training, Sadiyo invested in a sewing machine and she started sewing and mending clothes at home. With time her customer base started growing.
A flame was finally lit in her that illuminated her way and she finally found her liberty.
“I am now free,” she happily exclaims.
“I am now able to provide for my children”, she says. “My husband is also supportive in what I do. I am also able to provide milk for my sick father.”
Sadiyo has also gained the respect of her community members as she now has a source of income.
“On average, I get at least 15 USD per week,” she happily discloses.
Her utter relentless to get out of the ‘prison’ confines saw her do her best and the institution decided to mentor her to be a tailoring teacher at the centre.
“We do evaluations for every class and at least recruit the top student,” says Shamiso Sheikh Shafic, the Awale women’s group chair lady and the principal for the centre.
“This mentorship is great because it builds my confidence. It also allows me to strengthen my skills as I teach the students,” she says reflectively.
Her advice to mothers and young girls is one; to go to school.
“Come to the centre and study. The courses are free.”
“There is importance in studying as it enables you to get some income generating activities,” she adds.
ADRA through the SEAQE (Strengthening Equity Access and Quality in Education) project has partnered with Awale NFE centre since 2015 to equip women and vulnerable youth with various skills like literacy, cross cutting issues and life skills in non-formal education programmes.
SEAQE is a NORAD funded project implemented by ADRA in South Central Somalia. The project aims to increase education opportunities to poor and marginalised children, youth, women and their families to contribute to the thriving peaceful societies in Somalia.