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A Joyful Graduation Ceremony for Refugees in North Uganda

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A Joyful Graduation Ceremony for Refugees in North Uganda

NRC, 15 Jun 2016

URL: http://data.unhcr.org/SouthSudan/admin/flash_new.php
On three consecutive bright mornings in June 2016, South Sudanese refugee and host community youth, with a great deal of excitement, flocked to their respective vocational skill training sites in Nyumanzi, Ayilo II and Ocea. Some of them wore gowns fashioned by their friends in the tailoring class and looked just like Makerere graduates. A six month journey had culminated in their graduating from short-term courses in one of eight different skills
that included bakery and catering, electronics, hair dressing and saloon management, tailoring and garment cutting, brick laying and concrete practice, poultry, horticulture, and carpentry and joinery.

The joyful graduation ceremonies took place on 7th, 8th and 10th June in Nyumanzi, Ayilo II and Ocea respectively, under the theme ‘Skilling Youth for Sustainable Livelihood’. In total, 485 trainees of whom 305 (63% females) completed the course from among 625 initially registered, meaning a completion rate of 78%. Among the graduates, 60% are refugees while nationals comprise 40%, which is in line with the government policy.
The short-term courses were facilitated in collaboration with the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) of the Ministry of Education, which is the sole institution mandated to provide accreditation and certification of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Uganda. District Education Officials and neighboring technical schools also contributed to the courses preparations and facilitation.

The graduation ceremonies were presided over by the Head of Refugee Desk, Office of the Prime Minister in Adjumani District. In Arua district, the Chairman LCV presided over the ceremony in Ocea village (Rhino Camp Settlement, Arua). Other invited guests were UNHCR Head of Sub-Office in Adjumani, (the Head of Field Unit in the case of Arua), district local government officials, DIT delegate, parents, partner organizations, private sector, Refugee Welfare Council officials, traditional leaders, and sub-county community leaders.

In their remarks, the UNHCR and local government officials commended NRC for equipping the youth with skills and providing start-up kits to the graduates. According to UNHCR, directing more resources to the beneficiaries, reaching mostly women and children who are the most vulnerable groups and also constructing good quality standard training facilities were good accountability practices.