January 5, 2018

Somaliland’s Interns Discuss their New Job Opportunities

In late 2017, Somaliland’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education requested SPARK’s support in introducing a mandatory internship programme for all university courses across the region. As part of the Local Employment in Africa for Development programme, which we partner with Shaqodoon on, we have been implementing an Internship & Apprenticeship  Programme (supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs) for around a year now.
The uptake by universities and students has been phenomenal. Numerous higher education institutions have joined the project recognising that internships provide their students with a stepping stone into the private sector by helping them gain real-world work experience. In fact, since the programme’s inception in early 2017, over 840 young men and 786 young women have participated in the internship programme. Some of these students have since been offered full-time employment with the institutions they completed their internship with. 
Here we hear from two former interns about their experiences with the programme:
Aden Mohamed Abdi
Full-time employment as Pharmacist after internship
Aden Mohamed Abdi is a 27 year old student in his last year at Muslim College Hargeisa, completing a degree in Pharmacology. Unlike most students at his university, Aden has already managed to secure employment after he graduates, thanks to the LEAD Internship and Apprenticeship programme. 
Prior to the internship he completed at Alla-Aamin Pharmacy in May 2017 as a Dispensing Chemist, Aden had never had the chance to gain real work experience. To his surprise, he was offered a full-time contract at the end of his internship with the pharmacy. “I never thought that I would have the chance to participate in an internship programme, let alone to be offered a paid job straight after completing the programme!”
“LEAD’s internship programme allowed me to dream further at a time when I was ready to give up on dreaming. I have a job now as a result of my internship. Without it, I don’t think I would had been given the chance to prove myself.’’
Marham Said Dahir

Full-time employment in Customer Care after internship

Marham Said Dahir, a graduate student at Amoud University’s Business Faculty, is one of several hundred students who participated in LEAD’s Internship & Apprenticeship programme this year. Marham was offered a one month internship with Marill-Toyota, a reputable global automotive company.
Marham’s internship gave her the chance to gain real work experience in her field of study (Information Technology) while continuing with her studies. “The internship opportunity has provided me with a skill set that I would not have gotten from my studies alone. Words cannot describe my gratitude for the support that I have been given during during my placement.”
Marham made such a good impression that she was offered a full-time contract in customer care at Marill-Toyota ten days before the end of her placement. It was clear that being given her first employment opportunity had encouraged Marham to be ambitious: “Even though I now have a job, I still have other personal goals that I want to achieve. I want to grow in Marill-Toyota and eventually become a manager, or, one day, start a business of my own.”