Equipping Gaalkacyo Women with Life Skills PDF Print


In a courtyard at the Horseed Women Organization in Gaalkacyo, women sit in rows operating hand looms. Rhythmically moving the shuttle, right left right left and gently pressing the foot treadle down. This is the intricate art of weaving.


The organization was established in 2000 with the aim of empowering the local women: helping them gain skills that improve their lives. The centre offers short term courses in tailoring, weaving, catering, tie-and-die, hennaing (salon arts), basic arithmetic, reading and writing Somali language. It also plays role in educating women on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), HIV/AIDS, arbitration and reconciliation skills, business skills and awareness.


Through the Elmidoon (seeking knowledge) project, CISP is working with this organization to teach 30 women skills in weaving, and tie and dye. To be eligible for the training the women underwent a selection process and on qualifying were offered a full scholarship. The courses will take six months.

The technical skills learned here have changed lives of many women. Nasro Hassan is learning weaving and catering at Horseed. “CISP sponsored me in 2012 to learn tailoring at this centre. Before then I was a housewife and I had no income. Now I make clothes for people. My husband is unemployed but I can support our family,” she says.


This is the third month since the training began and the trainees are already enjoying the fruits of their labour. Some of their products have found their way to the market and shops in Gaalkacyo; they include head scarves and dresses.


Shukri Sheikh, the organization’s manager, states that CISP’s involvement in empowering women through Horseed has been a continuous engagement. Previously the organisation donated sewing machines and cash grants to graduates to enable them start their own business ventures after training.


By Hussein Somo, Communication Officer,  Mogadishu




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