After losing 250 goats and 20 camels to the devastating drought in 2017, Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud did not think he would ever be able to provide again for his family of seven.
But settling in Adi-Adeye, 30 km west of Lasanod, has turned out to be a blessing as Abdirahman has been able to get a free education in vocational skills at the new college in the village.
Abdirahman and his class of 45 fellow students will be the first to graduate from Adi Adeye Technical College in October. He been learning masonry and is already earning income.
“Myself and 14 others who study masonry go to construction sites on Thursday and Friday to earn money to support our families. When we work, we are paid $12 dollars each,” said Abdirahman.
The college was built to enable students from drought-affected pastoralist families to learn new skills. It teaches masonry, electricity, carpentry, and plumbing. Students are also taught literacy in Somali and English.
Jama’a Ali, also a drop-out pastoralist, has been working alongside electricians in the village as an intern, doing wiring and fixing electricity faults.
“Working with these people gives me experience and skills so that later I can stand on my feet and work for myself,” he said.
The college was opened in March after a two-year construction period.
Mohamed Suleiman, one of seven committee members running the college, said it cost $40,000 to build.
“It took a long time. The money was contributed by the local business people in the village and the diaspora hailing from the village. The dormitory and the equipped classrooms are all operational,” he said.
The school has six teachers, including two hired from Kenya. It provides students with accommodation and meals.
“It costs $5,400 to run school each month. The funds come from traders and people abroad. The school has really helped the villagers, as some of the students can now work part-time and they are able to write and read,” he said.
Abdullahi Ali Adan, a masonry teacher, says the college will bring huge benefits to the youth population.
“We are especially targeting the youth, who can contribute their hard work to the benefit of the community in the village. This will reduce the unemployment rate and improve the lives of the youth,” he said.