GEEL is designed to promote inclusive economic growth throughout Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland through activities that address challenges and opportunities that are common among multiple sectors and initiatives that affect key industries, particularly agriculture, fisheries, and renewable energy. The program builds the capacity of internal investors as well as the Somali diaspora eager to invest in business opportunities, and prioritizes opportunities in industries likely to attract women and youth who have been marginalized from pursuing economic opportunities.
For the last 20 years, Moalim Jama Secondary school has been neglected and in ruins, housing hundreds of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The USAID-funded Somali Youth Learners Initiative (SYLI) restored this iconic institution to its former glory while providing quality education to the most disadvantaged members of the community.
With over 70% of the population under the age of 30, Somalia’s youth population is primed to be its greatest asset. However, the obstacles facing these future leaders are immense due to decades of civil war. In particular, the education sector is plagued by scarce financial resources, lack of qualified teaching staff, and poor school infrastructure. As the country works toward stabilization, the need for investment in education is paramount. Through the USAID-funded Somali Youth Learners Initiative (SYLI), Mercy Corps and their local partners tackle Somalia’s diverse education needs.
Cultural barriers are some of the many reasons why illiteracy is wide spread among women in Somalia. Girls are expected to fulfill a traditional role, staying behind to care for the home while male members are given the opportunity to go to school.
In a country recovering from a 25-year civil war, there are very limited opportunities for advancement, especially for women. In Somalia, men hold most government and civil service positions. As a result, the government and civil society have made a concerted effort to establish educational and employment opportunities to empower Somali women and girls.
Last updated: May 05, 2016