Nearly 500 Somalis Complete Courses in Sports and Job Skills

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The biggest graduation ceremony to be witnessed in war-torn Somalia in more than two decades has been held for over 500 students who were taught sport and other important job skills by the Somali Youth League SYL the 2nd for the past six months.

Somali president Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, Mayor of the capital Mahmoud Ahmed nor, other key government officials, parents and students attended Wednesday’s ceremony which intended to mark the conclusion of 6 month-long different courses. The graduates were taught sport and other job skills including nursing, secretariat, computer, tailoring, mechanics and journalism.

The sporting lessons taken during the courses include football, table tennis, chess and athletics.

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“We say youths are the leaders of tomorrow so if they are not educated they will not have the chance to serve their country’s interests. Our programs are mostly targeting those whose families cannot afford to pay for their education and street children or other wise they will be susceptible to falling into the hands of notorious criminals in the country,” Eyni Ahmed noted.

Mayor of Somali Capital Mahmoud Ahmed Nor added that after years-long struggle the Old SYL scored Somalia’s independence in 1960 and that the current SYL II was following behind the footsteps of the fathers of independence in accordance to what they are doing.

Somali Youth League II students.
Somali Youth League II students.

“More than two decades passed, we forgot that this country belongs to Somalis, but fortunately SYL II has taught many of us that this country is ours. Another very important outcome is that children are protected from being used as warriors by Al-shabaab terrorists,” the mayor emphasized during his address at the graduation ceremony.

He called on other NGOs operating in the country to do a real job as SYL II is doing. During the ceremony a minute of memorial silence was observed in remembering hundreds of thousands of youths killed in Somalia conflict since the country fell into anarchy in January 1991.

Somali Deputy Minister for education Sheik Abdulkader Sheik Ali told the ceremony that his ministry and SYL II have been jointly working in the field of educational enhancement in the country for the past several years.

SYL II graduates.
SYL II graduates.

“It seems that Somalia is emerging from the age-old cultures which banned women from leading. Now we see that this very precious youth group is operating under the leadership of Eyni Ahmed who is a very creative young woman,” the deputy minister added before handing over the microphone to Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed.

Somali President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed said the ceremony is very different from so many ceremonies he has participated in the past.

“I am very grateful to SYL II for the great job and I can describe SYL II as the sign of Somalia’s recovery,” president Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed told the participants of the ceremony before presenting certificates to the young graduates.

Student graduates.
Student graduates.
Somali President, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed presents a certificate to a female graduate.
Somali President, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed presents a certificate to a female graduate.
A speaker takes the floor.
A speaker takes the floor.
Somali President, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed and a graduating female student.
Somali President, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed and a graduating female student.
Somali President, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed shakes hands with a graduating student.
Somali President, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed shakes hands with a graduating student.
A graduate holds up his certificate.
A graduate holds up his certificate.
Mogadishu Mayor Mahmoud Ahmed Nur
Mogadishu Mayor Mahmoud Ahmed Nur
Somali President, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed
Somali President, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed
SYL II chairwoman Eyni Ahmed with government officials.
SYL II chairwoman Eyni Ahmed with government officials.
Deputy minister for education Sheik Abdulkader Sheik Ali
Deputy minister for education Sheik Abdulkader Sheik Ali speaks

Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar is the NewsBlaze Somalia reporter, an experienced journalist. Shafi’i writes news stories, features and sends photos relevant to the current situation in Somalia.Shafi’i is also an international sports journalist and member of the international sports press association AIPS.He is a long-time sports journalist and reported from many international competitions including the Olympic Games.The photo shows Shafi’i at London 2012 Olympic Park.