Adjumani district leaders ask partners to help skill refugees

ADJUMANI– Leaders of Adjumani District have called for support from the development partners to support the skilling of the youths in refugee settlements and host communities to enable the young people to employ themselves.

The appeal comes at a time the district is facing high rates of school dropouts, especially adolescent girls who face early pregnancies, forced marriages, and extreme household poverty.

Lawrence Mangapi, the Adjumani Town Council Chairman said most youth in the district still believe that it is only through formal education that one is able to excel in the job market.

The district has embarked on massive sensitisation of the refugees and host communities to take on vocational skills like tailoring and garment cutting, carpentry and joinery, and electrical installation.

He has appealed to the development partners in the district to offer support to the youth in refugee settlements and host communities to enable them to undergo vocational skills training.

Monsignor Kasto Adeti, the Vicar General Adjumani Catholic Diocese explained that most of the youths in the District have not embraced the culture of hard work and resorted to drug abuse.

Recently, 140 vulnerable youth from the refugee settlements and the host community graduated from Moyo Technical Institute upon completion of six months certificate courses.

The courses include tailoring, electrical installation, information and communication technology, hairdressing, motorcycle repair, carpentry and joinery, welding and metal fabrication, construction, and plumbing.

The vulnerable youths that including; orphans and school dropouts were sponsored by the Jesuit Refugee Service in line with the third pillar of the comprehensive refugee response framework aiming at sustainable development and self–reliance for both refugees and the host communities.

Amos Vuga Remis,24, a refugee from South Sudan who completed a certificate in plumbing from Moyo Technical Institute told theCooperator that he dropped out from primary seven in South Sudan in 2015 due to the conflict.

He is however hopeful that the skills acquired will help improve his livelihood to fund his further studies adding that he was idle for the last seven years in the settlement.

Sharon Asianzo, a child mother who completed a certificate in tailoring says together with other girls, they have formed a tailoring association called Daughters of Mary and that they have so far signed contracts with many schools in Adjumani to make school uniforms.

She has however commended the support adding that the skill acquired is helping her to look after her child as well as herself and appealed to other youths in the District to embrace vocational skills training.

Gemechu Yadeta, the Uganda Project Director of Jesuit Refugee Service revealed that the child mothers in their tailoring association have been given a start-up capital of 86 million shillings.

Joyce Moriko Kaducu, the Minister of State for Primary Education appealed to the graduates to use the skills they acquired to cause a fundamental change in their communities by improving their livelihoods.

Meanwhile, the report from the Ministry of Education and Sport revealed that 104, 613 school enrollments in Adjumani by 2020, 56,800 of them were refugee children scattered across the 33 primary schools in the district.

However, the vulnerability analysis from the Office of the Prime Minister revealed that 36,673 were the most vulnerable children with 21,891 taking care of other children in child-headed families.

The report further indicates that only 3,018 refugee children in Adjumani district were enrolled in secondary schools before the lockdown was initiated in March 2020 with many of the learners dropping out from primary level due to lack of infrastructure for facilitating learning in the settlements.

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