Abdirizak Hassan Dibad, a 30-year-old from the Afgoye district in the Lower Shabelle region, has experienced a life marked by hardship and relentless determination. His journey is one of transformation, made possible by the Somali Youth Employment Project (SOYEP), funded by Silatech and implemented through Y-PEER.

For years, Abdirizak’s life was defined by physical labor. As the sole breadwinner for a household of twelve, which included his wife and relatives, he supported his family by carrying heavy loads on his shoulders. “It was exhausting work, but I had no other choice,” he recalled. “I had to provide for m y family, no matter the cost.” Despite his dedication, the financial strain was immense, and the future seemed bleak without any specialized skills.

Everything changed when Abdirizak enrolled in an auto maintenance course in Mogadishu, a program offered through SOYEP. “Before this, I had no skills. I didn’t know anything about car maintenance,” he admitted. But his determination and willingness to learn propelled him forward. The course provided him with comprehensive training, equipping him with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the field of auto maintenance.

Upon completing the course, Abdirizak received a toolkit from SOYEP, which included essential tools for auto repair and maintenance. “The toolkit from SOYEP was a game-changer,” he said with gratitude. “For the first time, I had the tools I needed to start my own business. It felt like a new beginning.”

With his new skills and tools, Abdirizak began offering auto maintenance services in his community. The impact was immediate and profound. He went from earning a meager income through back-breaking labor to making a sustainable living. “Now, I can earn at least 20 USD per day,” he shared proudly. “It’s more than just money; it’s a way to provide a better life for my family and give them hope for the future.”

Abdirizak’s story is a testament to the power of skill development and community support. With the help of SOYEP, funded by Silatech, he transformed his life and the lives of his family members. His journey from an unskilled laborer to a skilled auto mechanic is a beacon of hope for many others in Mogadishu and beyond.

“I want to expand my business and eventually open a workshop,” Abdirizak said, his eyes filled with determination. “I want to employ other young people from my community, so they too can have a chance at a better life. Education and skill development are key to overcoming our challenges.”

Today, Abdirizak continues to work hard, not only to support his family but also to inspire others in his community. His story is a powerful reminder that with resilience, support, and access to opportunities, anyone can overcome their circumstances and build a brighter future.