Vocationally trained Malakal youth enabled to support themselves and their communities

6 Sep 2018

Vocationally trained Malakal youth enabled to support themselves and their communities

Samuel Adwok Deng

Carpentry, brick laying, perhaps a spot of hairdressing. Or why not give connecting electrical or solar-powered devices a crack? Back in April, such a veritable vocational training smorgasbord was up for grabs for 115 young men and women in Malakal.

Now they have graduated. They are raring to go, to take on the world with their new skills, and to support themselves and their families in the process.

“The training that I have received will benefit both me and my community. I am now able to connect the electricity from the main output to the house. This will no doubt contribute to positive developments here in Malakal,” says 22-year-old Bronica Gabriel.

She has completed a course fully dedicated to the intricacies of electrical and solar connections. Bronica feels positively empowered, and urges girls living in Malakal town or staying at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan’s protection site for displaced persons to make the most of any trainings made available to them.

There was no need say that twice to Paul Yong, who despite being a 28-year-old man sensed that this timely opportunity to perfect his dress making skills was simply too good to miss.

“You see, this project has had a tremendous impact on me. I have picked up new techniques and can now make various styles of clothes. If someone provides me with sewing materials I can make school uniforms for free,” Paul pledged.   

Hazel De Wet, Head of the UNMISS Field Office in Upper Nile, explained that the vocational training given to a fortunate few of Malakal’s youth represents a unique approach to contribute to the fulfillment of the protection of civilians mandate of the peacekeeping mission.

“This is a pilot project, because normally we don't engage in activities similar to those of other UN funds, programmes and agencies, such as education,” Ms. De Wet said.

The training was organized by the National Relief and Development Corps (NRDC), in collaboration with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. NRDC Programme Coordinator Adish Atheno Obongo hopes that this successful trial can soon be repeated.