Saturday, 7 March 2020

Foundation empowers 326 Cameroonian refugees in C'River

...empowerment will reduce the burden on Gov't...UN

No fewer than 326 Cameroonian refugees are going through various skill acquisition programs in Cross River state.

The Cameroonian refugees drawn from different camps across the state are being trained in ICT, pastry & Catering, aluminum work, tailoring & Fashion design amongst others. 

Speaking with Vanguard shortly after launching one of its ICT career empowerment centers at Agagom in Ogoja on Wednesday, the Chairman, Board of Directors Community Refugees Relief Initiative, CRRI, Dr. Celestine Atangcho said the aim was to give the refugees hope as well as show concern and empathy.

Rancho said the idea behind the empowerment was to give the people from the Southern part of Cameroon a sense of belonging and hope to carry on in life.

He said: "We believe it is better to empower the people in the various camps instead of just giving them food items and medicine which equally is important.

"We are carrying out this training and empowerment in six camps in Cross River and we have others in Taraba state too. We believe it will reduce a lot of dependencies and create a durable solution for the people.

"We want the people to acquire skills so that they can have something to fall back to when the crises at home are over, we know it will not last forever, so our people need the skills. A lot of them have lost their homes, jobs, and families and they need a sense of belonging," he said.

On his part, the  United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR Livelihood Officer, Mr. Ayuade Adetoye said interventions of this kind will reduce the burden on both Federal and state government.

Adetoye said the initiative by CRRI was a laudable development that will give the people hope and something to fall back to in the nearest future as when Cash-Based  Intervention, CBI, stop.

"If other groups follow suit the refugees will be easily rehabilitated. And CBI will not last forever, so the empowerment will make a lot of refugees self-reliant.

"We really commend the gesture by CRRI and we appeal to other organizations to join in this kind of empowerment to reduce the burden on the government," he said.