From casual labourer to skilled worker

 Ever since Mohamed Khalif*, 24, started on-the-job masonry training, he has been a different man. He is now all smiles and full of hope.  


Mohamed developed skills in masonry after being recruited as an unskilled worker in the Gaheyr School rehabilitation project, which is being implemented by UNDP and spearhead by HINNA. The project aims at imparting relevant skills to youth, thereby helping them develop careers. Mohamed is confident that the skills he has acquired will soon be handy as a source of livelihood. Mohamed was born into a poor family. He had low self-esteem throughout his childhood. He lost hope in life and believed the best job he would ever do was car washing.


“From childhood, I had low regard for myself. I was stressed whenever I saw my well-educated age mates. I considered myself a failure in life,” he explains.


All that changed when Mohamed joined the workers rehabilitating the school. Gradually he started to grasp new skills. He carefully followed the instructions given by the trainers and within a short time had understood all the basics in masonry.


“I did exactly as instructed. I realized that I was really advancing from one level to the next. I now feel my skills in masonry are advanced,” says Mohamed.


Mohamed no longer regards himself as inferior. He believes he has skills that command respect and is convinced that he will get a decent job when the project ends.


The rehabilitation of Gaheyr School is being implemented under UNDP’s Employment Generation for Early Recovery project, which seeks to create income and jobs for vulnerable groups such as women, youth, and IDPs and their host communities in South Central Somalia.