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Hassan Baka Bile - Somalia

Twenty-five-year-old Hassan Baka Bile is the only albino person in the job market in all of Kismayo. Due to his striking appearance, many community members assume he is sick, further stigmatizing his already challenging situation. He is a father of two and the sole breadwinner of the family. His aging parents and siblings also rely heavily on him for financial support. To make matters more difficult, he also belongs to an ethnic minority in Somalia, which means he has limited social capital as well. “It was tough on my side as I have no source of income. My family expect me to support them, but I have nothing’, said Hassan. Many young men in Hassan’s situation resort to joining violent rebel groups as a means of survival, others take the dangerous trek towards Europe in search for asylum. Without employment, his options are limited. Hassan’s dream was to open a full-fledged car wash in Kismayo and when he heard about the call out for business proposals from ARC and Silatech, he thought this was the perfect way to gain the startup capital to open his business. He formed a group with other young men facing similar struggles and together they proposed a small-scale car wash. The selection committee was impressed with his proposal for a number of reasons. His business would meet a growing demand in the market, it was simple and sustainable.

Today, Hassan’s business is doing well. In less than a month his earnings have more than tripled. I used to wash three to five cars on a good day, but since purchasing this new equipment we are able to wash cars faster and better. We wash up to 15 cars a day”.He leads a group of six people, with hopes of expanding. Hassan thinks this is just the start of a carwash industry that can employ many more young people like himself.