When Nasra Haji Hussein left home two years ago in search of a job in Mogadishu, working as a mechanic was not among the options she had in mind.
The 18-year-old comes from Hiran, about 300 kilometers from Somalia’s capital. After a ten-day journey Nasra arrived in Mogadishu to stay with a relative.
She spent several months job hunting and eventually approached mechanics at the service garage where she found an opportunity to serve as an apprentice.
I repair different types of cars, luxury cars, bullet proof cars and pickups. Sometimes I service trucks when they are brought to the garage.
Nasra has been ridiculed and discouraged by many, but she says over time she has managed to build a regular customer base in a country where jobs are scarce.
“I repair different types of cars, luxury cars, bullet proof cars and pickups. Sometimes I service trucks when they are brought to the garage,” Nasra said.
For many youth, getting a solid education or even finding a job is difficult with the economic and security challenges Somalia continues to face as the country rebuilds.
Working in what is traditionally seen as a male domain, Nasra says at first she was ridiculed and chided for taking up the job, but over time she began to win customers.
By challenging gender stereotypes in a country with limited opportunities, Nasra has been able to acquire new skills and build a career. A the same time she has improved her family life.