His father’s death made him bitter. At 17 years of age, Ahmed Mukhtar looked up to his father but clashes between armed militia and the Somali army robbed him off his father.
He was disappointed.
Kindled with disappointment, he made a harsh decision to join the Somalia army to help fight against the armed militia. For one and a half years, he dedicated his time unwaveringly to the army.
He was content.
His contentment, however, was a worry to his younger sister who looked up to him. The fear of losing him as his father was never far off from her mind. She decided to persuade him to leave the army.
He eventually left.
At the end of 2018, he left the army. He didn’t know what he could do to make ends meet, but the community already had good plans for him.
They were good plans.
The village elder in his community selected him among other youth in the community to join a vocational and technical training centre where he would choose a training of his choice.
He chose tailoring.
He chose tailoring because he thought it is a great skill that could change his life. He was committed for the four month’s training and he became one of the best students. After his graduation, he was given a start up kit. He used this to start a business in his village with the skills he gained.
At 20 years old, he had a zeal to be successful.
His zeal and determination saw his business succeed. On good days, he makes USD 20-25 per day, but when the business is low, he makes between USD 12-15 per day. Mukhtar now caters well for his family. His sister is no longer worried about his well-being as he sees how transformed his life is.
His own goal however is one; to recruit and train other youth in this business so that their lives can be changed, the way his was changed.
“I am grateful to ADRA for saving my life. I am now earning my own income with a peace of mind,” he says.
ADRA under the Somalia Resilience Program (SomReP) implements livelihoods, food security and resilient projects aimed at building community assets and creating safety nets which enables the beneficiaries to withstand the effects of recurring disasters in Somali. SomReP is a consortium of seven international Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs) aimed at enhancing the capacity of beneficiaries in varying degrees of recovery or development programming which aims to enhance absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacities. The SomReP South West drought recovery program implemented by ADRA, trained 1,500 vulnerable women and youth in various technical and vocational skills in order to diversify their livelihood and asset base in order to cope effectively.