Learning skills to help their communities with the help of the European Union Trust Fund for Africa

NEWS | 27 February 2018

With more than 1,4 million refugees on the Ugandan soil, access to water is one of the main challenges. Hand water pumps, commonly known as bore holes, are a source of clean water that is put in place to serve a growing number of the refugees and host communities in Northern Uganda. Yet with low maintenance and repairs, the rate at which the water is pumped keeps diminishing and causing the pumps to break down.

 

“Two months ago, the bore hole of our village broke down and it took more than one day to repair it. By the time water was delivered by trucks, sanitation of the village was becoming unbearable. I remember watching the men repairing the borehole hoping to learn from them so that I can help the next time, but it was difficult. Now I have the skills to repair the bore hole, I will rescue the community”, says Fraser Lomeling (27) from Bidi-Bidi.

 

The Refugee Welfare Council (RWC) leader of village 6 in zone 2 noticed Fraser’s enthusiasm and recommended him for the “hand pump mechanics” pilot instant skills training organized by Enabel (formerly BTC). Fraser says in excitement “This is the best training. With the skills I have gained, I will maintain the bore hole in my village and there will be immediate response in case of breakdown” Paulo and Fraser are among the 15 youth that underwent the pilot instant skills training in hand pump mechanics at Lokopio Vocational Institute in Bidi-Bidi refugee settlement. The 10-day training empowers these youths to maintain and repair the hand water pumps in their respective zones of residence.

 

Like several youths in the camps, Fraser is a head of a household comprised of 5 younger brothers. While Paulo is married with one child he also takes care of an extended family. Fraser never managed to finish a high-school. He plans to use the hand pump mechanic skills gained to earn income to take care of his siblings and also to upgrade his studies in mechanics when he returns to South Sudan. Paulo finished his A-level in 2013 and plans to enrol for a diploma in engineering.

 

Frazer’s training is possible thanks to the Support Program to the Refugee Settlements and host communities in the Northern Uganda (SPRS-NU), financed from the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF). The objective of the skill training component, implemented by Enabel, is to provide support to Skilling Uganda livelihood and labor market relevant skills development for refugee settlements and host communities in the Northern Uganda, namely Arua, Kiryandongo, Adjumani and Yumbe. The intervention focuses on increasing access to quality skills development through training, scholarships, entrepreneurial skills and start-up kits for refugees and host communities in coordination with Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) thus aligning activities with the National Skilling Uganda strategy.

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