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“Because of the entrepreneurship course, I look for any gap that there is in the community, and if I am not managing to fill it I give ideas to others so that it can be filled.” - Mofti Abdalla Abdugin

Mofti Abdalla Abdugin is originally from Sudan and currently lives in Kakuma Camp, Kenya.  Mofti is a Sky School alumnus of both the Social Entrepreneurship and Peace-building Courses. Polly from Sky School caught up with Mofti to see what he has been up to since finishing the courses, and how he feels like learning with Sky School has had an impact on his life.

Polly: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, Mofti. We are wondering -- what have you been doing since you graduated from the Sky School courses?

Mofti: I am studying as well as self-employed. After finishing the (Social Entrepreneurship) course, I set up a kiosk, and I am using it to support myself. I’m also supporting my brothers who are now with me in the camp. I am selling many things, such as sugar, seeds, biscuits, coffee and tea leaves. At the same time, I am studying online for a university degree in Business Administration at Southern New Hampshire University. Before that, and before the Sky School course, I was studying Social Work with JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service).

Polly: How has Sky School contributed to what you are doing now?

Mofti: I really appreciated the Sky School courses. I studied the Social Entrepreneurship Course in 2017 and I also joined the course on Peace-building in 2018 and I graduated from both of them. All of the knowledge that I got, especially from Sky School, helped me a lot. Here we are mixed up with different nationalities. The Peace-building course helped me to be at peace with everyone here, and to solve some problems in the community. Because of the entrepreneurship course, I look for any gap that there is in the community, and if I am not managing to fill it I give ideas to others so that it can be filled. After I joined the course and got the knowledge, I thought about how to do business. It really helped me a lot.

Polly: Did the social entrepreneurship course help you get on to the business administration programme?

Mofti: It helped me into the degree programme because some of the concepts I gained from social entrepreneurship helped me to carry on with a business programme that I am doing now, which really opened the door to my success.

Polly: Were you already working on the kiosk idea before the Social Entrepreneurship course?

Mofti: No. I wouldn’t have thought of it before the course.

Polly: Is there any other way the courses have changed you?

Mofti: I want to talk about the two courses I have joined. They have changed me in a way that I can think more broadly than before. Before joining these courses I did not know what’s going on (in the world). After finishing, I have a wide knowledge of how things are carried on around the world and what is in need of me. I also noticed that the community needs me in one way or another so I can help them make progress in whatever they are doing. I sometimes go to people in the community and say that they should help others.

Polly: Is there anything else you want to tell us about your experience?

Mofti: First of all I would like to thank the Sky School team and programme because it has made me a different person than I was. The way I am thinking now was totally different to when I joined the programme. It will not just be me alone but many people in the camp, especially those who are idle. I like the courses you are offering, especially for those who don’t have the potential of studying with secondary schools and can’t manage the tough life in the camp. We will be different tomorrow when we go back to our countries.

Polly: You mentioned that the way you are thinking now is different to the way you thought before participating in the Sky School courses. How would you describe the change in your thinking?

Mofti: The way I thought before - I didn’t care about people. Now, if I see someone who is in a bad situation, I feel like I want to help him or her. Before the Peace-building Course, I used to think about causing problems. Now I am solving many problems.

Polly: Could you tell me about an example of the kinds of problems you are solving?

Mofti: In the camp we have insufficient water. People scramble to get water. One day when we were fetching water, people were queueing. One of our members tried to fight another one. I called both of them together and we entered a distance from the water place and I told them it’s not good for us to fight -- each one of us needs water. I told them “What I need is what you need”, and that we all need to live peacefully. Both of them accepted and reconciled and they are OK.

Polly: Thank you so much for your time, Mofti. Do you have any final words for us?

Mofti: Sometimes when I see young men in the community who are idle, they can’t join anywhere so they can study. We need to have mobilisers in the community so we can gather people and talk about the importance of the programme. Last year, I told some of the young idle people to look for a way to engage ourselves, get the skills and knowledge. Two or three of them joined the Peace-building course.