Building new skills & entrepreneurship in Somalia
In many areas of Somalia, people have been severely affected by repeated natural and man-made shocks, including drought, conflict and rising food prices. Poor pastoral and agro-pastoral households are struggling to hold onto their livelihoods, and families have little food and high malnutrition. Women were especially hard hit and, with their little purchasing power, were unable to care for their families. This is compounded by widespread poverty and low levels of basic education, both worsening livelihood security.
This vulnerability prompted Adeso to take several different actions through its program, Bakool Entrepreneurship Skills Support Action (BESSA). We positioned pastoralists to transfer to another livelihood, and helped farmers diversify their income options – by building skills like bee-keeping and raising poultry. Adeso also linked markets, provided farmers with tools, and entrepreneurs with support. We trained community-based organizations in a range of skills, including entrepreneurial development, literacy, and small-scale income-generating activities. Because economic growth does not result from one single intervention, but needs a multi-pronged approach.
This three-year program helped cushion poor households from future shocks by diversifying household incomes. Women were better able to buy food and other basic needs, improving their children’s health. With their training and the seeds and tools provided to them, farmers were better positioned to earn a reliable income. The same is true of several hundred others trained in beekeeping and poultry rearing. By strengthening households, the people affected will be better placed to buy food and to meet their other essential needs like medicine and school fees. Building new skills and strengthening livelihoods benefits poor families, but also builds the foundation for a stronger community economy too.