Partner of the Week: Solidarity Youth Voluntary Organization (SOYVO)

Solidarity Youth Voluntary Organization (SOYVO) is a Somaliland National non-profit organisation whose mandate it is to promote the country’s development agenda in regard to youth and women’s economic empowerment.

SOYVO has operated in eastern regions of Somaliland since 2003, where they are the leading youth-led development action. Each year they train and support 50-100 young peer educators to lead community development initiatives engaging 5000-10,000 young people. Their vision is to see young people taking a leadership role in addressing the most urgent issues facing the region and the world, supported by their communities, civil society, government and businesses.

They work in four key areas, civic participation, education, livelihoods and employment and sexual and reproductive health. They offer social and financial education for children and young people empowering them to make positive change. They facilitate communication in different schools in the country and provide assistance to any organisation or body that is engaged in voluntary educational activities, to reduce the rate of illiteracy in the society.

The organisation possesses the largest youth center to link public officials and youth in Burao, and they are now comfortable engaging with one another on important issues to empower young democracy activists with practical skills and knowledge in order to make them more effective in promoting democracy in the region and to prepare them for future governance roles.

They also help young people take up productive livelihoods (TVET) and employment opportunities so that they can contribute to their household income and the economies of their communities. This is in the areas of life skills; employment skills; project management; personal finance management; and small business enterprise.

SOYVO and Aflatoun have been partnering to implement social and financial education specifically in terms of promoting child friendly banking policies & services with banks, in order to facilitate access for all children to saving products & tools for early learning.

This year they have been focusing on expanding the number of beneficiaries, teachers & students and further implementing the Aflatoun and Aflateen programmes.

Through their vocational training programmes they have been able to train 2,150 youth in electrical installation, garment making, henna and beauty, computer training and networking, secretarial studies and business accounting skills.

According to one of the participants, a 14-year-old, “I have been able to save my money so I can contribute in paying my school learning books as my parents don’t have enough money to pay for my school fees.”

Read more about SOYVO here