Hargabits Academy that uses ICT multimedia creatively to improve the lives of less privileged youth from the non-formal settlement co-founded by Shaqodoon Organization in partnership with Butterfly Work in July 2016. Hargabits is established in sole purpose of reducing unemployment particularly less privileged youth in Somaliland especially in Hargeisa. Our specific target is the youth from the informal settlement areas in Hargeisa which is significant portion of the society. These youths are faced with many socio-economic challenges that hinder them from progressing in life and making meaningful contribution to their societies. Key among these challenges is Lack of education and employment opportunities which leaves the youth idle and despaired and leads them to engaging in vices such as drug abuse, join extremist groups, illegal migration and theft among others. The major cause of unemployment among these youth is their inability to access skills and education.
Hargabits is designed to offer ICT and digital skills trainings for disadvantaged youth to give them skills to enable them engage in gainful income generating activities. The proposed trainings are structured in three levels/stages which include taught theory and practicals’ and hands on training through internship. Hargabits uses existing curriculum designed by Butterfly Works. The training curricula is based on creativity and encompasses marketable applications including graphic designs, motion designs, video editing, app development, web-design and development. The beneficiaries are also offered entrepreneurship training to give them self-reliance skills in business planning and management. This gives youth capacity to develop and actualize ideas and engage in self-employment. The program also aims at linking these youths to financial facilities to enable them access funds to start and strengthen their own innovative ideas. In addition, Life skills’ training is another key component of the capacity building objective. The Life skills’ trainings is designed to assist youth to acquire necessary skills of job hunting including career development, resume writing, interview practice, work ethics, communication and leadership skills.
Hargabits part of the bits Academy. Bits academy is a digital learning environment of the schools in the Bits family. This family consists of AddisBits in Addis Ababa, AruaBits in Arua, KampaBits in Kampala, NairoBits in Nairobi, ZanziBits in Zanzibar, IndusBits in Jamshoro and TamaBits in Ghana, EkoBits in Nigeria, HargaBits in Somaliland and CairoBits in Egypt. The schools exist to promote positive change in the lifestyles of less privileged youth through digital design courses. From the year 2000 onwards, the Bits schools have already trained over 6500 youth in East and West Africa and Pakistan. Most of them having been able to secure employment in both formal and informal sectors, the success rate is approximately 80%.
This inititative is currently supported by the Netherland government through Oxfam Novib.