Ex-combatants and community members in Southern Kordofan jointly acquire new skills

Kadugli, February 10, 2011 – Today, the Southern Kordofan state government, the UNDP and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) officially launched a vocational training programme for ex-combatants and community members in the state. The programme will support a total of 215 participants who will be trained over a period of six-months. This training is an integral component of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) programme, and aims to facilitate and accelerate the economic and social reintegration of ex-combatants and women associated with armed forces into society.

“The vocational training courses are a good example of the partnership between the Government, JICA and UNDP”, said Basil Massey, UNDP DDR Project Director, thanking all partners for their continued support to the DDR programme. Moreover these courses will help strengthen and reinforce the leverage and competitive advantage of both ex-combatants and community members as well as improve their employability in the local labour market. The acquired skills would enable the trainees to produce products that would favourable compete with existing local products, and thus generate income and enhance their self reliance.

The Kadugli Technical School and the Women Union in Southern Kordofan are implementing the training programme, with the state Ministry of Education providing technical oversight. Courses are being offered in four different disciplines: auto-mechanics, carpentry, food processing, and dress-making/tailoring. The six-month training programme will consist of three months of theoretical courses, coupled with three months’ of practical work. In addition to training, participants will also receive technical support (mentorship) and business support kits, as well as follow-up services.

As a key partner in this programme, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) developed the training syllabus, and conducted training-of-trainers (TOT) in April 2010. JICA will also provide start-up kits to every participant, upon completion of the entire course.

“It is a great opportunity to attend this ceremony”, said Mr. Akinori Wada, The Japanese Ambassador to Sudan. “Last year I attended the handover of the equipment for the courses, I am therefore delighted to witness the start of the programme today.” The ambassador continued by saying “The Kadugli Technical School and the Women’s Union supported by JICA and UNDP will also train ex-combatants as part of this project. I believe that our cooperation with the UNDP and the DDR commission will be further strengthened with the Japanese contribution of USD 10.7 million for the DDR programme.”

This programme is being co-financed by the state government and UNDP. The funds provided by the State government will support the participation in the programme of the 105 community members, who were selected on the basis of willingness and commitment to the training program and come from communities with a high concentration of former combatants. More specifically talented youngsters who are school dropouts, young mothers, single headed households and returnees. The UNDP’s contribution will for its part support the participation of the 110 ex-combatants who are part of the DDR programme.

Mr. Lazim, the coordinator for Humanitarian and Development Aid addressing the audience said “We need to provide our former combatants with quality training and enable them to return to their community with dignity in order to enhance peace and effective participation in community development. We are working side by side with UNDP and JICA in human resource development which invariably contributes to peace building and sustainable development in South Kordofan State. “

Overall, the programme aims to improve the economic, social, and political welfare of DDR participants and communities, and contributes to enhanced peace and security in the state. UNDP is looking forward to extend this initiative to other parts of Southern Kordofan and eventually to other states in Sudan and hopes that the courses will make a difference to the participants an their families, contributing to the stability and devlopement of their communities.

The Sudan DDR programme is a nationally-owned programme aimed at contributing to creating an enabling environment for human security, and supporting post-peace-agreement and social stabilization across the Sudan, particularly in war affected areas.


For more information please contact:
Kumar Tiku: Head, Communications Unit, UNDP Sudan: kumar.tiku@undp.org

UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.