How Puntland COVID19 Helpline is Helping the Government and the Public in their Fight against the Coronavirus.

Earlier last month Shaqodoon Organisation in Collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Puntland with support from Oxfam and Golis Company has launched a toll-free emergency helpline to support the government forward preventative messages and to provide assistance to potential patients.

Since the launch and the inception of the emergency COVID19 helpline service in Puntland, it has improved the work of the ministry’s rapid response team, in tackling the novel Coronavirus.

A total of 1347 patients and potential COVID19 cases have been assisted over the helpline provided with advice and sometimes emergency medical assistance.

“The COVID19 helpline/call center helped the government of Puntland and the public in their fight against the coronavirus by providing information and counseling to the people who called the helpline or the call center” Said Abdirisak Abshir, Director of Primary Health Care of Puntland Ministry of Health, Mr. Abshir elaborated on the role of the COVID19 continuing to say “The helpline center gave the public awareness of COVID19 and health advice by conveying social distancing messages, regular hand washing and wearing protective facemasks and gloves. The health workers or the doctors in the call center gave health advice and respond to high and medium risk level patients and refer to the MoH. The center sends us the MoH everyday referral reports for the high-level risk patient to send the lab to do the testing of the COVID19.”

The center works with the MoH to track the virus and know where most of the calls are coming from as well as reporting to them if there are any spikes in certain regions and the patients who require emergency help.

We have spoken with Sagal Sheikh Mumin from Galkacayo who has been affected by the corona virus and later recoevered from it thanked the helpline center workers, the government, Shaqodoon, and the other parties involved in making this response to her situation possible.

“Thank God, I have recovered from the disease it was a scary moment in my life, secondly I would like to Thank the people who work at the ‘343′ helpline who have supported me with testing myself and provided me with advice that was crucial in my battle against the Coronavirus.

The helpline center still continues to support hundreds of people every day with advice and support and is supporting the government, track and contain the spread of the disease.

Dini Khalif, Puntland Sports and Fitness Center, Bosaso

Dini Khalif grew up in Bosaso, Puntland, Somalia where Mr Khalif always thought working a regular job for an employer cannot elevate one from poverty, Dini went to school in Bosaso as soon as he finished studying he started working and he had his fair share of working for employers as he witnessed firsthand what he had feared already that working a job cannot help one find financial freedom.

Yet, Dini discovered that entrepreneurship and starting a private business can really get him financial freedom and that he can help himself and support his family and community through it, But Dini lacked any experience and it was difficult for him to find a place to learn how to start, sustain and scale a business but with all his passion he also faced a bigger problem of finding money to start the business with.

As he was about to start university studies, Dini family could not pay for his university tuition, and soon he will be left to be responsible for his family, With all the pressures up against him he looked for opportunities but came out dry and when he was about to give up he came across Shaqodoon’s lead program which Shaqodoon conducts every year for the youth to provide them with the proper training, business mentorship and find them funding opportunities upon completion, Dini applied for the program with a business idea aiming to learn about business, Dini was lucky enough to be selected to participate in this program he started working with enthusiasm. He learned on various important issues related to starting, growing and financing business during his training.

The two weeks intensive lead program training culminated in a pitching competition in Mogadisho, In 2018 November Dini won the competition with his idea for a Sports and Fitness Center in Bosaso. Not only his idea was under the assessment but the presentation itself that ended with an ask for funding and support. The valuable input he gained through the program helped him eventually win and collect three thousand dollars in seed money from Shaqodoon.

The Sports and fitness center in Bosaso acts as a hub that connects the youth stopping them from crime and also youth mass migration from their country, Dini with the help of the skills and knowledge he gained through the program training started two other businesses in Bosaso a medical training center and a medical clinic, “If I would not receive the business training from Shaqodoon I would never realize the importance of a finding business partners and would not know how to run a business.” says Dini Khalif appreciating how this opportunity has turned his dreams into reality, he have also stated that prior joining the program he was clueless and would never survive running a business or even find the funds to start and achieve the long dream of employing his peers. 

Amal’s Internship that Changed her Life.

“Come with me.” said the head nurse to Amal, rushing from the surgery theatre. “We need you to stitch a patient.” I waited patiently in the waiting area as Amal rushed into serving a patient at Hawo Abdi Hospital in Mogadisho where she is employed as a part-time nurse.

Amal Farah shire was born and raised in Garowe, Puntland Somalia along with seven siblings hailing from a poor family she barely made it to the university in where she has studied Midwifery in the University Of Somalia, in the course of her study she has always showed enthusiasm and a great work ethic for her to pay her tuition and support her family, she has worked hard to find employment but her attempts have always ended in disappointment, Almost every institution required great period of experience. 

Shaqodoon gave her the opportunity to provide internships for 150 students at the University Of Somalia, The students have went through one month training at the hospital. Amal was fortunate enough to take part of this program, Amal was placed in Hawo Abdi Hospital after the training alongside with other 17 students as an intern where she would earn a great amount of experience practically from the health professionals in the hospital making her competent for employment.

She was not only devoted to her duties as a nurse but paid personal interest to motivate other interns as well. She is sweet natured having the quality of mixing with others. Within small time, because of her nature and commitment to the duties, she established very good relations within the group and in the community.

Amal’s positive attitude came to fruition as the hospital awarded her part-time nurse position at the emergency and surgical wards.


Amal expressed her appreciation to Shaqodoon Organization for bridging the gap between academia and job market with the training and finding her an internship. As she could now support her family financially and can serve her community by becoming a valuable asset to the hospital. 

Shaqodoon Launched COVID19 Helpline To Support the government Efforts On Containing the Corona Virus

On 12th April 2020 – Shaqodoon Organization, Ministry of Health Development and Telesom Company in collaboration from Oxfam jointly launched a new dedicated COVID19 helpline center which will provide the public with up to date information for all the 6 major regions residents, Information regarding the virus behavior, How it spreads? How to prevent and protect themselves? and to learn about the disease’s symptoms, This helpline is operated by 16 medical professionals who have volunteered to direct calls and facilitate advice and or medical assistance, This call agents have received a training on the IVR system and calling ethics by Shaqodoon Organzization.

Shaqodoon Organization which has been the implementing partner has provided a sophisticated IVR system that will be able to handle multiple calls at the same time and connect to multiple lines so that different call agents can handle and redirect many calls from different locations, Shaqodoon has also renovated and equipped the helpline center with the necessary tools and facility utilities required to perform the operation in the most useful way.

Telesom has also facilitated a toll-free land lines that has been configured and integrated with shaqodoon’s IVR system, The system has four main features:

  • 1. Access to Health Information
  • 2. Learn and Check for COVID19 Symptoms
  • 3. Leave a Voicemail
  • 4. Direct Call with a Health Professional

The ceremony took place at the Ministry of Health Development and was attended by the members of the National COVID19 Prevention Task Force and the Implementing partners, and various media outlets.

 As the start of the launch the Minister Omer Ali of the Ministry of Health Development jointly with Abdiqani Dirie Project Manager of Shaqodoon, Abdiwahaab Maah and Khadar Ibrahim Oxfam’s head of Development Program have cut the rope on the new center and had a tour from Shaqodoon stuff, Ahmed Mohamed from Shaqodoon has briefly explained the call center and how it will operate and it is main features.

The ceremony took place at the Ministry of Health Development and was attended by the members of the National COVID19 Prevention Task Force and the Implementing partners, and various media outlets.

 As the start of the launch the Minister Omer Ali of the Ministry of Health Development jointly with Abdiqani Dirie Project Manager of Shaqodoon, Abdiwahaab Maah and Khadar Ibrahim Oxfam’s head of Development Program have cut the rope on the new center and had a tour from Shaqodoon stuff, Ahmed Mohamed from Shaqodoon has briefly explained the call center and how it will operate and it is main features.

After that the ceremony was kicked off, Abdiqani Dirie’s Shaqodoon’s Project Director explained the technical aspect of the helpline center and thanked all the implementing and supporting institutions for making this helpline possible “We urge the community to take this line seriously and stop prank calling the line or making the operators busy for unnecessary reasons, This line could take part of the efforts in containing this particular virus.”

 

“Together with Shaqodoon Organization & Somaliland’s ministry of health, we launched COVID19 call center, which designed to provide information to the community during this critical time. The system will handle multiple calls, voice messages & provide symptoms screening option.” Says Khadar Ibrahim of Oxfam and emphasized on how important it is for other institutions to support the ministry with the the efforts of preventing the Corona Virus.

Abdiwahab Mah Telesom’s Investment Manager stated the importance of data in this crucial times and how information access must be accessible by everyone to avoid the consequences of misinformation.

The Minister and Director General of the Ministry of Health Development has thanked and expressed deep appreciation to all the partners who have established this helpline.

Hargabits Third Batch Graduation Ceremony.

Hargeisa, 31 December 2019 — Hargabits digital design skills academy commemorated a cheerful event to honor the third batch of graduates who have excelled studying at the academy. The event was chaired by Gulaid M. Odowa a senior web development instructor at the academy, Mr Guled has welcomed the distinguished guests and expressed a deep congratulation to the graduating students.

The graduating students have gone through many levels of study during their one year study at the bits academy, starting off as a one class they have mastered the use of computers and basic computer and internet skills, learning courses on basic web development and graphic design to help them choose what skills they want to learn and pursue a career in.

Hargabits have then divided the students into three sections of study, Motion graphics, Graphic design and Web development, studying at two different locations, Hargeisa innovation hub HarHub and the info center at Edna Aden University.

Representatives of different organisations and institutions have been in presence at the event, including these guests was Hassan Gaadh-Haye from Hargabits partner Oxfam.

Ahmed Ali has delivered the opening remarks welcoming the guests and breifly explaining the journey of the students and the future of Hargabits, “Hargabits represents one of the main goals of Shaqodoon.” Say Ahmed Ali innovations and startups manager at Shaqodoon “It is one of the many ways Shaqodoon set-out to create jobs for the youth, through this medium and with the use of technology, because digital talented workforce has high demands in the market, and these youth have now acquired the skills that could easily match them with employers.”

Other guests have addressed the students aiming to inspire them to continuesly engage with Shaqodoon and Hargabits, and to presume the studying and improving their skills.

The 52 students graduated from Hargabits will join the ever growing Hargabits alumni of 170 students who are now professionals working in different sectors.

During the ceremony, the students have took the stage to showcase the work they have produced during the course of their studies.

Students have also taken entrepreneurship classes and started ventures offering the services of the skills they have obtained from the academy. Shaqodoon has held a business challenge for these ventures and granted seed funding to the winning businesses.

Finally, the graduates have been called to the stage to receive certificates of honor from a board comprising the partners, guests, and parents.

Shaqodoon has Launched RESI In Hargeisa.

Hargeisa, 10 December 2019 — Shaqodoon with the help of ITC (International Trade Center) launched Refugee employment and skills initiative (RESI) at HarHub (Hargeisa Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub) which will open opportunities for youth with 21st century skills to work as freelancers and serve both the local an d global communities. The program aims to reach and support all youth especially youth from displaced backgrounds.

Shaqodoon will facilitate a Digital skills training program to equip youth with the necessary technical and freelancer skills to work independently, The event gathered different stakeholders such as program committees, program beneficiaries, and other parties from the government and private sectors.

“Technology offers speed and accuracy, and since we are living in the age of information it’s imperative to teach our youth how to work as freelancers so they can serve global communities remotely.” — says Ahmed Mohamed Business Developer officer at Shaqodoon as part of his opening remarks, Ahmed expressed deep concern over the creation of employment for youth for them to find financial freedom and help them contribute to the growth of economy.

The youth will learn different skills through this program on working as online freelancers through the RESI Freelance programme. Abdifatah Aden the mentor and trainer for this program thoroughly explained RESI project, Explaining how RESI tailors its activities with targeted private and public partnerships, builds strong market connections, and brings capacity building to the next level through relevant network connections and mentorship. With this approach, RESI ensures newly acquired skill-sets translate into actual income gains and job creation.

SSG’s General Director Mr Mohamed Jama presented his newly inaugurated freelancer website Somwork which is a hub that aims to connect freelancers with employers and projects locally and internationally.

Mohamed Hassan the general director of Shaqodoon closed the occasion with encouraging message for beneficiaries, emphasizing on why Shaqodoon chose to conduct the digital skills training program aligning their core values with RESI project as Shaqodoon aspires to empower youth through entrepreneurship, innovation and technology.

Tarmiye Fund — $1,000,000 For Somali Entrepreneurs In The Next Five Years.

On the 1st of December 2019 Harhub — Hargeisa first entrepreneurship and innovation Hub organized a highly orchestrated occasion celebrating the launch of Tarmiye Fund with the help of Shaqodoon Organization and Premier Bank and the support of Oxfam and Spark, Tarmiye Fund aims to provide funding opportunities for Somali entrepreneurs in the coming five years up to 1 Million dollars going onto this businesses development and the creation of at least 1,000 new jobs.

Harhub has also inaugurated the launch of the first Somali crowdfunding platform, Tarmiye Crowdfunding Platform an alternative form of financing for young entrepreneurs; They can use these channels to raise funds for their startups so they can turn their ideas into profitable businesses.

Funding is crucial for elevating business and creating jobs, improving technology, hiring the right people, and launching a comprehensive marketing strategy to get a foothold in the market. However, sourcing enough money to start your new venture can be difficult, especially in this region.

Barriers faced by entrepreneurs include it has became difficult to access suitable funding through the years, high failure rate due to short repayment period, also the development of a collateral requirement by financial institutions such as banks, not only this but entrepreneurs also face limited alternative financing and youth startups are mostly being affected with no active special fund for youth not being in place specially vulnerable people’s access.

A business without a funding source will flounder under the weight of its own debt. Funding is the fuel on which a business runs. A business can take different avenues to attain funding, and more than one option can be used. The chosen funding will depend on the business’ desire to be in debt, how solvent the business owners are at the time the business is founded and the amount of money a business will need to launch and maintain itself through a variety of events. SmallBusiness Chron

How is Tarmiye is different (Solution).

Tarmiye considering all these challenges and barriers in the market came up with a different approach to the way funds are distributed to businesses, thus limiting the risk to the financial institutions and removing the collateral requirements for loans below 5,000, the increase of duration of the payback, increased grace period to 90 days, and creating alternative funding opportunities for businesses like the crowdfunding platform — Tarmiye.com.

Tarmiye also aims to provide equal opportunities for all target youth, transparency, and funds limited to a defined age bracket with a special consideration to low-income families.

Abdiqani Dirie

On the launch of the event Abdiqani Dirie the head of programs of Shaqodoon thanked the guests as part of the opening remarks and welcomed to stage Mustafa Othman the Technology and Communication and technology manager, Mustafa thoroughly presented and explained Tarmiye fund.

Mustafa Othman

“On the launch of Tarmiye Fund we have decided to put our forces together to create better opportunities for communities in the different districts in Somaliland, Puntland and Somalia this is for them to have an impact in their respective communities.” Says Mustafa Othman.

Khadra Ali Harhub manager talked about the hubs 1-year anniversary and how the many success stories she has had the pleasure to see through that 1 year partly inspired the birth of Tarmiye Fund.

Khadra Ali

“We are pleased to announce the launching of the first crowd funding platform in Somaliland to enable entrepreneurs to raise funding for their ventures and help their businesses sustain and thrive. These ventures go through an accelerator program at the Hub, where they gain valuable input from training by experts and mentorships. Through Harhub we have been testing the platform with cohort 1 comprising five entrepreneurs and all entrepreneurs could complete their campaigns” says Khadra Ali, Hub Manager.

Premier Bank general director Mr Noradin Abdi has also talked about Tarmiye fund their contribution and the role banks play in the funding of these businesses.

The ceremony had also witnessed the official partnership agreement signing where Shaqodoon’s director Mr Mohamed Hassan, Harhub’s Manager Khadra Ali and Premier Bank’s director Noradin Abdi signed the agreement over Tarmiye fund.

Harhub has concluded the event awarding the first and second cohort of the hubs accelerator program where the startups have used Tarmiye crowdfunding opportunity to raise 30% to 50% of the seed fund they have received from Harhub, Mohmoud Batalaale Investment Manager of Harhub facilitated this session.

Finally, the minister of Somaliland’s Investment Mr Mohamed Awad who was also present said few remarks praising the partners for starting this initiative to fund the youth lead businesses.

“This program can inspire youth to join entrepreneurship and lead to the fruition of this nations natural resources for business, as well as fighting poverty and the creation of jobs which can help with the illegal immigration.” Minister Awad.

Get In The Ring Hargeisa 2019 Wining Battle Goes To Dhaweeye App.

Have you ever been to a business pitching event or seen businesses competing for the chance to win funding, influence or other opportunity? Entrepreneurs talking about their businesses clients, markets, efforts and punch of numbers on their sales, traction and revenues where at some point the entrepreneur pitching can see no one in the room is really that interested.

Get in the Ring aims to challenge the status quo of pitching. The minds of the investors need to be triggered. For this reason, Get in the Ring changed the way people are pitching and has introduced a new unique pitching concept. Startups getting in the ring will battle it out, one on one, during five different rounds. Each round focuses on a relevant topic that all investors are interested in.

The final round witnessed Sahal Transportation, Gulf Fishery and Dhaweeye Taxi who battled out in the ring answering questions regarding relevant topics that all jury members were interested in. The audience also had a vote at the end of every battle as well the ability to ask quetsions to the competitiors.

Over 300 people attended the event, 7,000 others watched live on Facebook and over 350,000 reaches over social media with a social media team in place tweeting live on all the incidents of the event.

Finally, jury members announced Dhaweeye as the 2019 Get In The Ring Hargeisa champion winning the opportunity to join the global entrepreneurs gathering. the battle ended but with results that will hopefully last forever for all the businesses took part.

Somaliland Youth Business Challenge — Global Entrepreneurship Week.

According to an assessment conducted by the Ministry of Employment, Family and social affairs the number of unemployment rates indicates that 75% of Somaliland people are unemployed. According to this data, 30% of the unemployed are females while 20% are young males, but the remaining 15% are adults. The assessment noted that Hargeisa, which is the capital city of Somaliland, has been constrained by high levels of unemployed youth and especially university graduates.

As stronger entrepreneurship ecosystems emerge, young people unable to secure jobs have more opportunities to leverage their economic freedom and create a job. As they start and scale new businesses, they not only change their lives but also contribute to their communities and country through job creation and economic renewal. As part of an effort to promote youth entrepreneurship, Shaqodoon has organized youth entrepreneurship challenges in Hargeisa during the Global Entrepreneurship Week in November 2019.

We have selected five Innovative and Investment ready tested prototypes/businesses with a functioning business model that can be scaled up with the potential market opportunities to pitch their business ideas during the demo day for the chance of winning seed funding.

Hundreds of youth attended the event eager to witness the tough competition to get inspiration from the awarding of these startups and for the sole purpose of networking.

Mr Abdiqani Dirie of Shaqodoon has welcomed the guests and delivered the opening remarks thanking the distinguished guests, entrepreneurs, partners and participants, he has also given some explanation on how the competition will take place, as well as shedding the light onto youth and entreprenurship.

“Youth are the greatest resource of our nation. We have committed to ourselves to equip them with 21st century skills for them to thrive and have an impact in their communities.

We have set to empower youth through entrepreneurship and technology, since technology has offered accuracy and speed and through it the creation of a million of jobs, and we want our youth to lead the development of the society with these skills and mindsets.”

The minister of Youth and Sports Mr Boos Mire who attended the ceremony officially opened the competition and had few words to say about Shaqodoon and how it is always working on an innovative way to lead youth to take part of the economic growth and solve interesting problems within the community.

Also, representatives from Oxfam, Spark, and Sonyo were present to oversee how the event undertakes each also taking on the podium for a word.

All five startups pitched their ideas to an experienced business jury who had also asked questions after every pitch to see how innovative the idea is and how much impact it could have in the society.

Finally, Sami Online and Colorplus art and Paint was declared winners, winning total seed funding of $6,000 to uplift and scale their businesses, winning against three other competitive ideas.

Two other ideas undertook a training from HargaBits and went through the same competition has been awarded seed funding of $5,000 Girls decoration and Somlight Digital Printing.

Global Entrepreneurship Week Somaliland Launch — Women Entrepreneurship Event.

Every year in November over 170 countries come together to host more than 30,000 events across the globe, It has been named by the Telegraph “The world’s largest campaign to promote entrepreneurship — an event that aims to “inspire and empower” the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

GEW is the biggest celebration of entrepreneurship, intended to reinforce existing businesses by fostering new networking connections and inspiring new business ownership by introducing prospective entrepreneurs to the resources in their cities.

The idea is to connect entrepreneurs with potential investors, mentors, and partners. As well as to bring the global community together to share ideas. The Global Week is backed by Global Entrepreneurship Network; however, it has thousands of partners across the globe.

Shaqodoon is their partner in Somaliland to host the celebration in this context, Shaqodoon is celebrating this week by host events to take part of these global efforts to empower entrepreneurs, Shaqodoon will focus on different themes such as women and youth entrepreneurship and align with the global annual theme of inclusion to encourage young and female personals to have more participation in the entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Today marked the commencing of the Global Entrepreneurship Week by Shaqodoon — Orchestrating the first event which was intended to include women on the entrepreneurship boat, Somali women face multi-layered barriers to accessing the labor market and endure the hardships resulting from poverty, conflict and clan-based culture which promotes strict male hierarchy and authority. This is further exacerbated by cultural limitations on women’s roles and status. Social norms determine and limits women’s participation in the public sphere at all levels, from engagement in local community groups, informal associations, social networks, and formal and informal sector business to wider political participation.

The main purpose of the event was to empower, educate, and inspire women entrepreneurs of all walks of life: to level the playing ground for women improving their knowledge and capabilities.

The event has been attended by numerous government institutions, local and international NGOs and companies from the private sector, The General Director of employment, social affairs and family he has complimented Shaqodoon team for organizing such event for the women of Somaliland, he has also shown utmost appreciation to the women who are hustling in male-dominated industries.

General Director of Shaqodoon Mr Mohamed Hassan has paid the opening remarks, welcoming the distinguished guests and thanking Shaqodoon’s partners and stakeholders, like BBC Media Action and Spark.

Shaqodoon and the BBC Media Action with the Coordination of MESAF support Somaliland women entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses,

increase income-generating capacity, productivity and competitiveness, and ultimately create decent employment. Members of the individuals who overtook the training have attended the event to obtain further inspiration from this platform.

The colorful event had an entertaining taste where traditional folk dances have been performed to a fully engaged audience.

The conclusion witnessed the screening of a short inspirational film as part of the last part of the event which focused on giving inspiration to the attendees: the success story of two prolific business women who have shared their stories with the audience, Amina Farah and Noura Mohamed.

Ahmed Mohamed from Shaqodoon the host of the event laid down the importance of empowering women potential and knowledge to have equal social and economic contribution to the nation, as part of his closing remarks.