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In Somalia, youth encompass the majority of the population. However, they lack basic education and employment opportunities. Education, like other services, was severely disrupted during the past two decades of civil strife. USAID works to provide fair and equal access to education for girls and boys by building and rehabilitating classrooms, providing learning materials and technical assistance to local authorities at both regional and district levels, as well as involving communities in management of education. 


As in many low-resource countries, Somalia has a large youth population with high unemployment. USAID’s youth program is helping build a generation of active Somali citizens and leaders by increasing stability as well as creating opportunities in education, economic growth, and civic participation for Somali youth. Youth trained in advocacy and leadership have organized community service activities including tree planting, donations to a mental health hospital, school cleanup campaigns, and girls’ education awareness. To help youth move into gainful employment, USAID has conducted labor-market surveys in all major urban areas of Somaliland and Puntland, identifying skill-training needs and potential jobs for youth.  Our programs are expanding vocational education and training for young people--and providing funding for selected start-ups run by youth. 

Our Somali Youth Learners Initiative (SYLI) aims to support the next generation of Somali leaders by expanding access to quality secondary education opportunities for over 160,000 youth.


Supporting education in Somali schools. A New Start for Burtinle High School.

Last updated: November 10, 2015

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