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VOA Hosts Town Hall on Education in Puntland, Somalia

Voice of America’s Somali service recently hosted a town hall meeting in the town of Garowe, the capital city of Somalia’s Puntland State, on a topic that greatly affects the younger generation in the region - education.

The discussion focused mainly on the importance of building vocational schools for today’s youth, after many young Somalis have struggled with finding a job after graduation. It has been believed that many Somalis give up and turn to extremist groups because they face difficulties finding a job. “The Town Hall Meeting conducted by VOA Somali last week in Puntland, Somalia, was intended to enlighten Somali youth and inform them of the various benefits that vocational schools provide” said Abdi Yabarow, chief of VOA's Somali Service.

Among those who participated in the discussion were Mohamed Yusuf Jama, a prominent politician and scholar in Puntland; Farhia Yusuf Hirsi, Deputy Minister of Family and Women; and Abdirahman Sheikh Ahmed, Puntland Youth and Sports Minister. Over 200 young men and women attended the event, asking relevant questions and gaining insight to a critical issue for the younger generation in the country.

For additional photos from the meeting, click here.

In addition to hosting town halls, VOA Somali is producing programming for Somalia’s youth. Just recently, the service began a 30-minute daily radio program for young listeners, providing a new platform for exploring social issues and getting the latest news along with music and technology features. VOA reaches Somalia and neighboring countries on AM, FM, shortwave radio, television, the Internet, and through mobile devices.