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14.05.2009 Education

389 Graduate In Voc. Skills

By Sarolta Saskiw -
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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) facilitated 389 trainees for graduation on Wednesday from National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI).

The project, which is part of the UN Human Security Trust Fund, was funded by the Japanese government in the sum of 1.6 million dollars over a two year period, targeting both refugees and host communities.

Among the 389 graduates, 20 per cent were Ghanaians and 80 per cent were refugees who have had six months of competency-based training in various skills. These include baking, block laying/masonry, electrical installation, draughtsmanship, carpentry, soap science, batik tie and dye, dressmaking, beauty care and information communication technology.

Mr Kwame Asante, national project coordinator for UNIDO, explained that the objectives of the training are to improve their physical security and environment at the refugee camps, guarantee psycho-social stability of the refugees, advanced agricultural activities through training and demonstrations, skills training and certification, business enterprise development and microfinance.

“The ultimate goal is to ensure that all the project beneficiaries can enjoy sustainable livelihood.”

Asante said that the graduates are the first batch of beneficiaries that have successfully completed various skill training and NVTI assessment and evaluation.

The project began with 530 eligible and registered beneficiaries, and out of this number 428 trainees have completed their trainings.  Out of the 428, 389 sat for the NVTI examination and are prepared for Grade II Proficiency Certificate.  Altogether, there were 331 females representing 77 per cent and 97 males representing 23 per cent.

This Asante added, is in line with the aspiration of the project to empower more women who form the bedrock of sustainable livelihood and the growth of the private sector economies all over the world.

Mr Francois D'Adesky, UNIDO representative and interim to Ghana, congratulated the project beneficiaries that were graduating from the various skills training programmes for their commitment, dedication, sacrifices and the determination to ensure a sustainable livelihood for themselves and their families, through income-generation activities.

He assured the commitment of the UNIDO to its partnership during and after the implementation of this project in Ghana.

UNHCH representative, Aida Haile Mariam, said that it is UNHCR's hope that with their training, refugees and their host community will have an improved sustainable livelihood as well as increased food security, and ultimately become self-reliant.

“I would like to take this opportunity once again to express our gratitude to the government and people of Ghana for their continued support and hospitality for refugees.”

She also expressed appreciation toward the refugees themselves, whose effort she said should indeed be applauded.

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