Former soldiers learn farming, sewing in Torit

25 Jun 2012

Former soldiers learn farming, sewing in Torit

21 June 2012 – Ex-combatants who completed life skills training aimed at helping them re-enter society were awarded certificates today in the Eastern Equatoria State capital Torit.

The 185 ex-combatants (117 female and 68 male), trained in agriculture and tailoring, were given start-up equipment like sewing machines and farming tools.

"The skills you have acquired here are very important throughout your life and you can play a key role in the development of your country," Torit County Commissioner William Oyet Oromo told the gathering.

"If those of you trained in agriculture produce more food, we will not rely on food imported from neighbouring countries," the commissioner added.

UNMISS State Coordinator Winnie Babihuga said the UN would continue supporting the government's state-building and economic development efforts through such programmes.

Victoria Pilgrino, a mother of six who trained in tailoring, said she would be able to provide food and pay school fees from income she hopes to earn.

"I am confident I will earn a good income as a tailor," she said. "I have already received a request for school uniforms and uniforms for traditional dancers. "

The training was conducted by the International Organization for Migration in collaboration with the UN Development Programme, state Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Commission and Ministry of Education.

Since reintegration training began in November 2010, an additional 285 have completed training in areas like food processing, auto mechanics, driving, carpentry and information technology, bringing the total to 470.

Martin Adot Opira, who completed driver training in May, has been recruited by the IOM. "I am very happy to get a job and an income to support my family," said the father of one.

As stipulated in its mandate, UNMISS is supporting the construction of a DDR transitional facility in New Kenya, 32 kilometres east of Torit. The new facility, which has a capacity for 500, will be inaugurated in October.