A ticket to better opportunities
“This graduation event marks a significant milestone in your lives and offers you the ticket towards better lives, and opportunities ahead”, said the Deputy Ambassador of the Norwegian Embassy in Ethiopia, Ms. Tove Stub, who presided over a graduation ceremony at Adi Haroush Youth Education Centre in Shire in September.
The youth education programme by NRC in Shire, in the north of Ethiopia, offers vocational training to young Eritrean refugees living in Adi Haroush and Mai-ini camps. The courses range from tailoring and food preparation to furniture making, general construction, metal-work and electronics.
“I am delighted to be part of this event, which is a good opportunity for me to learn more about the youth education and vocational programme in Shire. This educational programme is adding real value to the lives of the Eritrean refugees living in Adi Haroush and Mai-ini camps and ought to be supported by all the stakeholders”, added Deputy Ambassador Stub at the graduation ceremony.
Other invited guests included Ato Ayalow, Deputy Head of ARRA (Authority for Refugees and Returnees Affairs), Moses Okello who is the Head of UNHCR in Ethiopia and Ato Nurhussain Hassan, Head of ARRA, Shire Zonal Office. Others were Mr. Michael Owor, Head of UNHCR Sub-office-Shire, Ato Nur Hussain, Head of ARRA’s Shire Zonal Office and Ato Sahile Silasie, Regional Head of Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) in Tigray Region.
“I would like to thank the donor community for investing in this project, particularly the Government of Norway represented by the Deputy Ambassador. I would also like to thank the Government of Ethiopia for opening its doors and extending asylum not only to the Eritrean refugees but also to many other people from neighboring countries. This is an exemplary gesture that we always remember Ethiopia for, said the UNHCR representative, Mr. Moses Okello.
NRC’s education project for Eritrean refugees commenced in 2012. With support from the Swedish Internal Development Agency (SIDA), UNHCR, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA) and ARRA, two youth education centers became operational with a total enrolment of 550 youth.
“The Learning Centers are now accredited and certified by the Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) of Ethiopia and learners receive a government certificate when completing”, says Onen Christine Harriet, NRC Project Manager for Education in Ethiopia.
Silas Gebresilassie is one of the teachers who have guided the students through the vocational courses over a period of 12 months to help them acquire new skills and increase their opportunities to earn an income. She has successfully trained 31 students in welding, basic machine operation, sheet metal manipulation and soldering among other subjects. She feels proud to have them go out into their communities with new skills.
NRC currently provides support to refugees through construction of shelters, hygiene and sanitation facilities, literacy, numeracy and vocational trainings to youth and strives to provide safe environment to unaccompanied and separated Eritrean refugee children through family unification, kinship care and support. NRC is expanding its programmes in Shire and aims to improve the living conditions for refugees living in Adi Haroush, Mai-ini as well as the newly created Hitsatse camp.
The programme works in close collaboration with the Authority for Refugees and Returnees Affairs (ARRA) and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), among other humanitarian agencies.