200 Ivorian refugees acquire skills in Ghana

Two hundred Ivorian refugees at the Fetentaa Refugee Camp in the Berekum Municipality who underwent skill training have been presented with start-up kits to establish their own business at the camp.

They received sewing machines, hair dryers, carpentry tools and other working equipment after going through a year’s intensive training in hairdressing, soap making, dressmaking, bakery, building and constriction as well as electrical installation.

Another batch of 25 refugees who went through six-month Information Communication and Technology (ICT) training are yet to receive their start-up equipment while 58 other refugees who also received training on farming would soon receive their farm inputs.

The United Nations Humanitarian Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) in collaboration with the Assemblies of God Relief and Development Services (AGREDS), a Non-Governmental Organisation sponsored the training.

Mr Joseph K. Wumbee, Executive Director of AGREDS, explained that with support from UNHCR and other partners, AGREDS, has continuously provided various services including skill training, health care and micro credit support to over 5,000 refugees in the country.

He said through innovation and efficient utilization of limited resources in 2012, AGREDS supported 2,053 refugees in a wide range of livelihood activities and also equipped 1,153 young women and men with practical employable skills in various disciplines across the five refugee camps in the country.

Mr Wumbee said 458 individuals at the Ampain, Egyeikrom, Krisan, Budumburam and Fetentaa Refugee Camps also received support in various livelihood strategies last year.

He said realizing the important role of skill training in accelerating development, especially in developing economies, the collaborative efforts of AGREDS and UNHCR as well as the Ghana Refugee Board in consolidating the peace process as well as enhancing the human resource potential of the refugees would be strengthened.

Mrs Ruby Sandhu-Rojon, United Nations Resident Coordinator, said although more than half of the Ivorian refugees who came to Ghana during the heat of the 2011 political crisis had returned to their homeland, more than 9,000 of them still remained in the country.

She said it was important that those who remained in the country were provided with vocational and technical training and thereby empower them with appropriate skills to enable them become self reliant.

Mrs Sandhu-Rojon said the UNHCR would continue to arrange for support from all stakeholders to assist the refugees to develop sustainable livelihood ventures.

Source: GNA

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