Support for local businesses creates jobs for youth in Kismayu

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(ERGO) – A joint initiative by a Qatari organisation and an American humanitarian agency is helping to create jobs for youth in the coastal city of Kismayu in southern Somalia.

FadumaMoalim Ali, 27, has been jobless for a couple of years but she is now one of the young people behind the new Ileys Shampoo Company, with financial support from Qatari Silatechagency in cooperation with the NGO, American Refugee Committee (ARC).

The plant, which started its operation last week, has produced its first 30 containers of shampoo.

The company, with $2,500 in start-up finance, employs10 young people from Kismayu town.

Faduma, the company chief executive and a mother of five children, is now able to feed her children and pay her house rent.

“This is very important for us because it has solved our problems. Though we seek more funds, we feel that some of our needs have been covered. Most of the workers are youth who returned from the refugee camps outside the country,” Faduma explains.

The company imports the ingredients and chemicals and five-liter plastic containers from neighbouring Kenya. It has not yet started distribution of its products.

According to a statement posted on Silatech website, financial support in the form of small grants enables youth returning to Somalia to integrate back into society. Targeted youth have received tailored training on business development, financial literacy, and management to maximize their ability to start up and grow viable income-generating businesses.

Ifrah Abdullahi has got a job with Ilyes shampoo firm in the production unit. She hopes that the production rate will double soon as they have the chemicals required in stock.

In cooperation with JubbalandChamberof Commerce, ARC’s programme aims to create 3,000 jobs for youth in Kismayo over the course of 2019.

Head of ARC in Kismayu, Adan Abdi Salad, told Radio Ergo that the project which started last November has a budget of $500,000. It has created j650 jobs for young people from different suburbs after interviews.

Another beneficiary of the programme is FartunIbar, a mother of seven, who received a grant of $2,000 to stock her wedding dress stores. She told Radio Ergo she earns an average of $35 per day and can support her family and pay rent for her house and the business.

“I knew the art but due to lack of finance, my business was not running well. I had only one pair of wedding gowns but now I have bought three which helps me to run the business in a productive way,” she said.

Fartunhas enrolled four of her children in school and is now able to pay their school fees.

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