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.
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.
“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.