About Project:

UPSHIFT is a youth social innovation programme developed by UNICEF Innovation under the Generation Unlimited UNICEF vision.

UPSHIFT combines leading approaches to youth and adolescent development with private sector best practice (human-centred design), to empower marginalised young people identify and design entrepreneurial solutions to challenges in their communities. The approach combines social innovation workshops with mentorship and seed funding and is tailored to reach the most marginalised.

Young people gain skills for life and for employment. Perhaps most importantly, UPSHIFT positively impacts the wider community through the indirect benefits of the products and services that young people design. Additionally this contributes to changing perceptions of young people as positive change agents, rather than a problem to be solved.

Problem Statement

With a population of 12,316,895 people and a significant youth and adolescent proportion forming a huge youth bulge, Somalia faces an unprecedented challenge in addressing the youth and adolescent needs of the people in a complex context where conflict, natural disasters and climate change divert resources from the needs of this important cohort of the population. Just under half (45.6%) of the population is less than 15 years old, while three- quarters (75%) of the population is less than 30 years old.

Youth unemployment in Somalia is high, with only an estimated 27% of youth employed (58% male and 42% female), while the majority of the employed (70%) are in the primary sector that is agriculture, forestry and fisheries. An overwhelming majority (69 percent) of 2,685 males and females in the Somali region, including South Central Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland, surveyed by the Heritage Institute mentioned either the lack of opportunities (48 percent) or the poor economic situation of families (21 percent) as key reasons for out-migration.

Project Aim:

project aims at providing skills and innovative opportunities to the youth in Somaliland, Puntland and Greater Somalia


iRise hub in collaboration with UNICEF and DOT has implemented two social innovation bootcamp in Mogadishu. Bootcamp that took place from November 2019 and january 2020 at the Airport Hotel in Mogadishu.

A Total of 100 changemakers are participated and worked with facilitators from DOT S.Coop and iRise HUB, created 16 teams comprised of 4 to 6 members and developed social innovation ideas around food security, peace and justice, livable cities, clean water and sanitation, quality education, unemployment/economic growth and health & wellbeing.

In attendance during the opening and closing sessions ceremony were UNICEF representatives, Government (both FGS and Banadir Municipality) & private sector officials (From commercial banks to small and medium enterprises) who challenged the youth to build their future through innovative ideas and also work hard and come up with solutions.The debate covered issues such us, youth empowerment, innovation, thinking out of the box, engagement to community and collaboration.

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