DDR Participants, gearing up for Reintegration
2 October 2009: Acquisition of new skills goes a long way
in facilitating professional and social integration of Ex-Combatants.
Vocational training courses, an initiative of the Southern Sudan DDR Commission
(SSDDRC) and the UNDP as part of the Sudan DDR Programme and funded by
the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), were launched on 8th
of September 2009.
According to JICA Programme Coordinator, Kensuke Oshima, about 100 DDR participants have started their vocational training courses together with other civilian participants. The trainees, distributed among five training providers in Juba Township currently attend practical classes in carpentry, tailoring, food processing, hotel services, building and metal fabrication. The average duration of the training lasts three months.
Now operating at almost full capacity, JICA has just received the last batch of trainees. “We conducted an orientation session for the last batch of thirty trainees in food processing on September 30, 2009 and they are ready to start their courses early October.” JICA Project expert Utako Morita announced.
While touring the premises, in the company of SSDDRC, UNDP and JICA officials, a score of trainees including Samuel Kose, a DDR participant from Kator, was seen measuring and sawing pieces of wood under the watchful eyes of an instructor. Asked what his impression was since he started the training. Samuel smiled and said, “...I have only been here for 2 weeks but I’m happy learning new skills.”
Apart from the main courses undertaken by the trainees, JICA says efforts are under way to supplement the content of the training programme with basic literacy lessons and entrepreneurial skills. Saturnino Lado, SSDDRC Reintegration Coordinator, believes this is a welcome development for the reintegration of Ex-Combatants under the Sudan DDR programme.
So far 602 Ex-Combatants participating in the Southern Sudan DDR programme have received counselling on their reintegration options in Central Equatoria State. In the meantime the SSDDRC and UNDP DDR unit are preparing to provide reintegration packages to DDR participants in the area of small business and agriculture before the end of the year in Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Western Equatoria and Lakes States.
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