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Support to Higher Education in Conflict Resolution and Peacebuilding

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Years of conflict have had a devastating effect on youth in Somalia. The youth make up 38% of the population, a majority of whom went to school during the period of conflict in Somalia. After completing school, they faced insecurity, unemployment and limited opportunities that make them vulnerable to illegal activity and migration. Stability Fund, in partnership with City University aims to enhance the ownership and leadership of Somalis in peacebuilding.

entrepreneurial-opportunities.jpgThe City University is a relatively young non – profit institution located in Mogadishu, Somalia. With over a thousand students, City University offers adequate facilities, and a curriculum centered around technology combined with field study. In response to society’s educational and research priorities, City University is offering a post-graduate educational program in Conflict, Governance & Peacebuilding. The University also provides its students a fully paid annual summer internship locally and abroad. For the last three years, the university has taken students to Istanbul, Turkey to boost their international experience and enhance skills needed for employment.

Fadumo Abdi, is a 19 years old Somali student studying political science at City University of Mogadishu. She was fortunate to have enjoyed a summer internship in Istanbul in 2014. ‘The environment we have at City University is unique. I learned not just English, but IT skills, leadership skills, personal responsibility, community service and conflict resolution at the personal and community level’. Fadumo gets all this in the country without leaving her family.

Mohamud Shauwl is a 20-year-old Civil Engineering student from Baidoa. He came from a family of farmers and no one in his family had lived in the city. Afraid that that his chances of enrollment were slim and constrained financially, he nevertheless was determined to apply. ‘A friend encouraged me to take the entrance exam and later found out that I had top score and was offered a full-scholarship at City. But, I was sad as I could not afford to live in the city’. Mohamud eventually received assistance from a relative to pay for food and accommodation in Mogadishu.

airport.jpg Today, Mohamud has mastered Computer Aided Design. He was among the students who travelled to Istanbul for a summer internship. Mohamud can’t wait for his graduation in 2018. In a recent interview Mohamud discusses the impact of his experience at City University, ‘in just two short years, my life has changed and I will never be the same’. Mohamud, like many students in City University was provided with education beyond the classroom to encourage change leadership in society. Education reduces the vulnerability of the youth while providing them the opportunity to positively contribute to the rebuilding of Somalia.

In October 2015, City University, with support from the Somalia Stability Fund, inaugurated a Conflict, Governance and Peacebuilding center, offering graduate-level courses to 12 admitted students. As the majority of the students are employed, the classes are scheduled twice a week on Friday and Saturday. The students are able to use the new digital library, as well as free internet and videoconferencing facilities to enable them to successfully complete the 36 credit hours for the Master’s program. Somalia has thousands of students graduating from local and regional universities every year, with few quality graduate programs in the country. This program aims to educate capable leaders, equipped with the relevant knowledge and transferrable skills to enable them to achieve their professional goals, and to offer leadership and service to their society and nation by providing a high-quality, Somali-led education and research institute in the heart of Mogadishu. Find out more about City University here.

 

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