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New skills gives opportunities for youth in South Sudan

More than 100 IDP students residing at the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites in Juba, graduated under the Youth Education Pack (YEP) programme implemented by Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), with support from Norway.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony held at UNMISS PoC sites in Juba, the Camp Chairman Bang Guer said, the training has renewed hope to both young women and men who have lost vision for their future.

45 women and 72 men were trained for six months in various vocational skills, which include; bakery and hospitality, tailoring, masonry, carpentry, minor mechanic and electricity work as well as life skills covering health education, peace and reconciliation, nutrition support, psychosocial support gender awareness and HIV/Aids awareness.

“We would like to thank Norwegian government and NRC for the training and tools provided to these participants. We ask NRC to continue with this kind of trainings and next time to include people with disability also. This training is very important and will help these participants to become self-employed and supportive to their families,” said Mr. Guer.

The camp chairperson asked all learners to share the knowledge with the rest of youth at the PoC sites so that they also learn to be creative.

Choul Kong Koang, one of the students who learned bakery said he is very happy that the skills he learned is now paying him back.

“I have decided to establish my bakery here at the PoC sites with some little money I borrowed from my relative a month ago.  Now I have an average of 100 customers buying bread and cakes from me daily,” he said.

“This is a very good initiative. If these young boys can be trained like this, they will be useful and work for themselves,” said Mr. Koang.

 “I felt my life has changed because before I used to live unhappily asking myself what can I do to get money as life is so hard in the PoC sites here,” said a jubilant Elizabeth Nyator one of the students. “But now, I am now a tailor. I am going to start my business with this dressmaking machine I have been given. This will support my children and family,” said Ms. Nyator

Speaking at the ceremony, the Norwegian Head of Development Cooperation, Gunvor Skancke congratulated the excited learners and asked them to use the skills to their advantages. Stressing that Norway as a long-term friend to South Sudan will continue to support the people of South Sudan through such initiatives implemented by NRC among others.  

The Youth Education Pack (YEP) is a project implemented by the NRC. The programme target out of school youth from age of 14 to 27 years old, and offer various skills for the duration of 6 to 11 months. It also provides day care for children between 1 to 3 years old in various centers in Juba.