UNAMID provides vocational training for more than 1000 Darfuri youth
EL FASHER (DARFUR), Sudan, October 31, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- More than 1000 youth from across Darfur have received vocational skills training in 2013, as part of the 16 Community based Labour Intensive Projects (CLIP) sponsored by the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in support of the efforts of the Government of Sudan to address the needs of at-risk youth and other vulnerable groups.
The projects mobilized unemployed youth to participate in vocational skills trainings and on-the-job training activities through employment in public construction works. By the end of the projects, the beneficiaries acquired a variety of livelihood skills allowing them to improve their employability and social integration and engage in rebuilding their communities with the aim of achieving a reduction in violence and conflict in their areas.
UNAMID's Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Section launched the first phase of the CLIPs programme in 2012, implementing in that year 17 CLIPs in 14 different localities throughout Darfur. In 2013, the second phase of the CLIP programme implemented 15 constructional and vocational skills training projects, and is successfully running a one year-long midwifery training project with 50 direct beneficiaries who are young unemployed women.
A total of 1085 direct beneficiaries have been trained this year in the areas of welding and metalwork, auto-repair, generator services, electricity, computer programmes, sewing, nutrition and other skills of high demand in the job market. In addition to gaining vocational skills, the beneficiaries earn the use of necessary tools. Many of the beneficiaries are already engaged in income generating activities, working in markets and producing goods for sale.
The youth also engaged in construction projects, learning how to produce cost-effective and environmentally friendly soil-stabilized bricks. Participants in these projects included a child protection centre in Abu Shouk IDP camp, schools in Netigah and Edd- Al Fursan in South Darfur, youth recreational centres in Kulbus and Ardamata in West Darfur and a library in Zalengei, Central Darfur.
Interviews and survey results have demonstrated a great increase in the participating youth's confidence about their future. Recent evaluation of the CLIP second phase showed that vocational skills and on-the-job training has reduced the vulnerability of the beneficiaries to violence and increased their livelihood capacity. For example, 98% of surveyed youth stated that CLIPs helped them to gain necessary livelihood skills for secure employment, 70 % are confident about finding jobs after the completion of the projects and 67-68 % stated that CLIPs had an effective impact on strengthening community cohesion and promoting peace in their localities.
The beneficiaries highlighted the role of CLIPs in mobilizing youth of different tribes to work together for a common cause. “The project has improved the treatment of young people of each other, as they worked together side by side during projects and learned how to deal with each other and developed new friendships,” one of the participants said.