BY: VITALIS UGOH, ,Calabar
More than 326 Cameroonian refugees are currently been trained to acquire various skills in Cross River state courtesy of a non-governmental organisation.
The Cameroonian refugess drawn from different camps across the state are being trained in ICT, pastry & Catering,aluminum work,tailoring &Fashion design amongst others.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after launching one of its ICT career empowerment centre at Agagom in Ogoja on Wednesday the Chairman, Board of Directors Community Refugees Relief Initiative,(CRRI) Dr Celestine Atangcho, said the aim was to give the refugees hope as well as show concern and empathy.
Atangcho said the idea behind the empowerment was to give the people from the Southern part if Cameroon as sense of belonging and give them hope to carry on in life.
He said “we believe it is better to empower the people in the various camps instead insteae just giving them food items and medicine which equally important”.
“We are carrying out this training and empiwerment in six camps in Cross River and we have others in Taraba state too. We believe it will reduce a lot of dependency and create durable solution for the people”.
He said, “we want the people to acquire skills so that they can have something to fall back to when tbe crises at home is over. We know it will not last forever, so our people need the skills. A lot of them have lost thier homes ,jobs and families and they need a sense of belonging, he said”.
On his part, the United Nations High Commision for Refugees, (UNHCR) Livelihood Officer,Mr Ayuade Adetoye,.said interventions of this kind will reduce the burden on both Federal and state government .
Adetoye said the initiative by CRRI was a laudable development tgat will the people hope and something to fall back to in the nearast future as when Cash Based Intervention, (CBI) stops.
“If other groups follow suit the refugees will be easily rehabilitated.And CBI will not last forever ,so the empowerment will make a lot of refugees self reliant.
“We really commend the gesture by CRRI and we appeal to other organisation to join in this kind of empowerment to reduce the burden on government,” he said.