Hosh Jama Farah says that there is nothing particularly special or different about him. He insists that he is just a young Somali trying to improve himself, provide for his family and help his country on its path to peace and prosperity.
But his modesty belies the dedication and effort he has put into getting to where he is now.
From humble beginnings, Mr. Farah has made something of his life through education. He now runs his own thriving small business in Garowe, the capital of the federal state of Puntland, a member of Somalia.
Although the young entrepreneur does not pretend to be an example for others, he does hope that the elements of his life can inspire other young Somalis.
Mr. Farah, also known as ‘Hosh Docol’, was born in 1991, the year his country plunged into a long-running civil war. He was born in a small village, Labilammaane, in the Jariban district of the Mudug region in central Somalia. His family were shepherds, and he was one of 13 brothers.
Growing up amidst the horrors and vicissitudes of war, he was determined to do something with his life, and education provided him with a path.
In 1997, together with an older brother, he moved to the city of Jariban, where they stayed with relatives to begin their studies there. The brothers stayed for nine years and Mr. Farah completed his primary studies there. In 2006, Mr. Farah moved to the city of Galkayo, also in the Mudug region, and completed his secondary education at Omar Samatar High School. He dedicated himself to his studies and graduated with honors in 2012.
Subsequently, he enrolled in a bachelor’s degree course in economic development and management at Mogadishu University’s Bosaso campus and graduated in 2016.
In an effort to expand his skill set while pursuing college, Mr. Farah sacrificed his social life and leisure time. He worked part-time, including for the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), with whom he worked on a web-based registration program. He also took several online courses, in areas ranging from graphic design to project management.
“My path in the search for knowledge began with sacrifice and dedication, I began to educate myself, taking several online courses to improve my knowledge, and between 2015 and 2017, I took several short online courses that helped shape my career. professional. ,” he says.
His educational focus extended far beyond his chosen area of formal study. For example, in 2017, she took a year-long e-course on video editing and screenwriting from Alison, an online education platform.
“By the time I finished this course, I realized I had the foundation for a film career, and now one of my main skill areas is film production and editing,” says the 31-year-old.
Educational exploration, coupled with his spotting an opportunity in Somalia’s nascent digital media sector, led him to change his career focus.
He is now a digital media production specialist based in Garowe. He runs his own digital production company, Dookh Press, which he started in 2017, built from scratch and employs seven people.
“When I was setting up my business, I did not seek financial support from my family or loans from local banks. I had a dream of doing it on my own, using my skills in digital production and steadily building my client base and a few years later my company was recognized in the city as one of the best in its field. ”, says Mr. Farah.
“Since I founded Dookh Press five years ago, I have worked with the UN, local and international non-governmental organizations and government institutions in Puntland,” he continues. “For example, there were few experienced digital design and production companies in my city, so the Ministry of Education chose my company to design 118 textbooks for Puntland primary schools from 1st to 4th grade. I designed more than 100 book covers.”
Looking back on her life’s journey thus far, she reflects on the path she took to achieve independence and self-sufficiency. It was not an easy journey compared to many of his companions.
Among the obstacles he faced, he recounts the difficult transition from a small, poor town to a major town, with limited family networks and minimal financial support.
While some of his friends went abroad in search of better lives and careers, he vowed to continue his journey within Somalia.
“I have always believed in my country and I have always been confident that there are many opportunities in my country, be it with education or work. Not everyone agreed with my point of view: quite a significant number of young people like me, who went abroad in search of a better life and better education, finally appreciated my decision after some of them failed to carry out their dreams abroad,” he says. .
While his path was difficult at times, he was determined to continue.
“I dedicated an important part of my time to becoming independent. I was determined to improve myself through education and have a brighter future,” says Mr. Farah. “In my experience, there is no substitute for hard work if you want to achieve your goals. I made the decision to focus on expanding my skill set to make my dream come true.”
Like many entrepreneurs who have enjoyed success, Mr. Farah is eager to give back to his community, and aptly, education has been a conduit for his donations.
Amidst his intense focus on advancing through education and personal development, he found work as a part-time high school biology teacher and night tutor while studying in Bosaso. He then went on to combine teaching with advocacy in his local community, imparting knowledge and raising awareness on a variety of topics through digital platforms.
“In 2015, I created a social media campaign called #Isbaro which roughly means ‘know thyself’ in English, with the intention of teaching young people about history, ethnicity, literature, poetry, the environment, traditional astronomy, culture, literature and more – in fact, it was a fascinating experience for me to research these topics and share this knowledge with my peers. I taught these subjects for four years, and in the process, I also learned a lot,” says Mr. Farah.
His experience of being the father of four young children, ages one to nine, coupled with his own experiences of growing up with limited resources, means that the needs and perspectives of Somali youth are always on his mind.
“Unemployment is a big challenge facing Somali youth and to overcome this burden, I always tell young people to trust their country, study hard and when they can create jobs. There will always be challenges, but these can be overcome with patience and a lot of personal sacrifice,” says Mr. Farah.
importance of education
Somalia’s ninth National Development Plan, which covers the period 2020-24, lists education as a key sector that is vital to the country’s prosperity and progress, and its authorities aim to “introduce free and compulsory access to primary education one grade/year at a time until universally achieved by 2030”.
The United Nations in Somalia has been supporting the Federal Government in the education sector for several years. This includes the completion of an Education Sector Strategic Plan, the launch of a new education curriculum for primary schools across the country, the completion of national examinations in Somalia, and the successful completion of the Joint Sector Review of Education in Mogadishu.
In addition, the UN in Somalia strongly advocates for increased funding for the education sector in Somalia to ensure that education is accessible to all communities.
The United Nations is also very committed to supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The fourth SDG focuses on education, with the premise that when people can obtain a quality education, they can break the cycle of poverty, thereby reducing inequalities, enabling upward socio-economic mobility and helping to achieve gender equality. .
As part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the SDGs are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of everyone everywhere, and were adopted by all Member States of the UN in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda, which establishes a 15-year plan to achieve the SDGs.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).
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