Children who cannot receive an education due to poverty and insufficient educational infrastructure in Somalia are benefitting from scholarships provided by the Turkish Maarif Foundation (TMV).
In the capital Mogadishu, where education is provided almost entirely through private institutions, many families cannot afford to send their children to schools.
But Maarif schools provide education to 1,200 students in the cities of Hargeisa and Mogadishu on three campuses.
Yakup Abdinur Absir, 9, has 12 siblings and lives in one of the tiny houses in Mogadishu. He is one of the students who has received a scholarship from the TMV.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Absir said he is happy to have joined the school and wants to become a teacher in the future.
Ihsan Cerrah, TMV's Somali representative who has been managing the educational institution for three years, said the schools have symbolic importance as they are the first ones taken over from the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ), the group behind the 2016 defeated coup in Turkey.
Cerrah said they provide education from kindergarten level to high school, and they are also carrying out feasibility studies to start education activities in two more regions in the East African country.
He said Maarif schools provide quality education and the majority of its students are accepted into Turkish universities. Students here receive English, Arabic and Turkish lessons as well, he added.
"I think Somalia is the country where the Turkish language has the most demand ... in the fields of politics, trade and diplomacy. We need to contribute to this. The progress of bilateral relations will be based on the language factor," the official said./aa