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A new beginning away from conflict

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Monica Lul carries her 8-month-old child to class every morning to attend electrical installation classes. “I have seen what knowledge and skills can do to transform an individual. Education provides a new beginning,, she says. © NRC/Nashon Tado

Nashon Tado (18.02.2016)

Monica Lul lived in Jonglei State in South Sudan until she was caught up in the conflict in 2014. Following the footsteps of her father, she decided to take up an electrical installation course at the Youth Education Training Center in Kakuma.

29-year-old Monica Lul is a soft-spoken mother of four, living as a South Sudanese refugee in a refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya. She is one of two female electrical installation students in the Youth Education Training Center. "The subject is dominated by male students, but I am not intimidated. What a man can do, a woman can do as well. Women support communities and not just themselves," she explains.

Lul was living in Jonglei State in South Sudan, until she was caught up in the conflict while visiting a relative in Juba capital, in 2014. The deadly violence in South Sudan was triggered by political fallout and deep social tensions.

Forced to flee, Lul made her way through challenging conditions to Torit town and continued her journey in a lorry to Nadapal, bordering Kenya and South Sudan.

Following her father's footsteps

She was motivated to take up an electrical installation course following the footsteps of her father. She explains she was understood the need for electrical system operations for businesses and domestic activities by watching her father’s work.

“In rural areas in South Sudan, people rely on power generators to provide lighting and loud speaker facilities during village weddings, public awareness campaigns, fundraising and funeral activities. These require safe and reliable electrical connections that are well protected from electrical shocks, as well as short circuits,” she says.

Lul received her Electrical installation completion certificate on the 15th of December 2015, during a colourful ceremony held at the vocational training center in Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp. The event was attended by Deputy Secretary General Geir Olav Lisle, UNHCR Kenya Country Representative Raouf Mazou and Bob Collymore of Safaricom mobile service provider.

Monica has been a role model in breaking gender barriers by taking up an electrical installation course, which is traditionally dominated by male students. "I am hopeful that South Sudan will return to peace and stability one day and I look forward to putting my skills into practice back home,” she says.

Youth Education Pack (YEP)

We have developed a concept known as Youth Education Pack (YEP) in 2002, to serve as a basis for youth-oriented learning programme, which could be adapted to different countries and needs. The YEP was developed to meet the learning needs of war and conflict-affected youth who, due to displacement and lack of opportunities, have had little or no schooling.

YEP intends to serve a holistic purpose of combining literacy with life skills and vocational skills training. The programme aims at responding to the educational and training needs among adolescents and youth with little or no education or training.

The YEP is a one-year fulltime program with three equally important components; namely literacy/numeracy, life skills and basic vocational skills training. Learners include the more vulnerable among our target groups, whose families and circumstances allow them to spend a year of fulltime learning in school.