Helping young people and adults develop the skills they need to lead more productive, peaceful, and self-sufficient lives is a core part of Adeso’s work.

We collaborate with key people from local communities to co-create training programs that meet the specific skill requirements of each community.

Pastoralist Education

Adeso has been helping pastoral youth gain leadership skills in Northern Somalia and Northern Kenya, with a focus on both girls and boys.

The Pastoralist Youth Program (PYP) grew from the need for a curriculum and model of education that was accessible, useful and meaningful to pastoral communities. Adeso’s PYP was developed in order to make Somali communities more self-reliant and enhance rural livelihoods and peace. Developed in partnership with local authorities, PYP has provided non-formal education to students on topics relevant to their own lives including: animal health, human health, governance and leadership, as well as natural resource management.

Located in Northern Kenya, Marsabit County has one of the lowest literacy rates in the country with only about 17% of those over six years of age ever attending school. This is attributed to cultural practices like early marriages that force young girls to drop out of school, as well as extreme poverty which renders even basic formal education inaccessible. To address these barriers, Adeso has provided scholarships to secondary school and TVET institutions to vulnerable students from pastoralist communities.

Skills for Life & Work

For the past two years, Adeso has implemented the Baidoa District Stability, Employment Skills and Entrepreneurship Strengthening (BDSESES) program funded by the Somalia Stability Fund as a means to use formal and nonformal education interventions to strengthen social cohesion and develop economic opportunities. Moving beyond traditional TVET courses, such as tailoring or masonry, this project offers an innovative, demand-driven TVET education that focuses on providing soft skills and sector-specific skills identified by employers to promote employability among youth. Adeso also established a Job Club at the University of Southern Somalia that provides skills development, professional mentorship and work placements. Identifying critical soft skills and competencies for employment, Job Club staff members develop interview skills, build resumes, provide guidance on job application processes and support the successful growth of other job readiness, particularly for those excluded from the labor market.

Enabled by comprehensive and nuanced stakeholder engagement and market assessment, the BDSESES project demonstrates an approach to educational interventions that is informed by Adeso’s nearly two decades of experience with educational programming – one that employs nonformal and formal modalities to investment in the resources and capabilities of local communities for sustainable, long term change. Moving forward, Adeso intends to take the successes and lessons learned from BDSESES programming to refine the project and bring it to scale, with similar programming in major cities across Somalia to ensure that education in Somalia is closely aligned to the opportunities that already exist in the employment market.

In all of our work we consistently focus on building leadership skills that are grounded in democratic values and human rights. It is this approach which we believe will create the strong, stable and fair communities a 21st century Africa needs.