The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and American University of Nigeria (AUN) have distributed resettlement packs to 190 graduates of its skill acquisition programme in Bama and Ngala Local Government Areas of Borno State.
Presenting the packs to the beneficiaries on Thursday in Bama, the Project Manager, Abubakar Mu’azu, said that 110 persons were trained in Bama and 80 others at Ngala.
According to him, the beneficiaries were provided with starter packs at the end of the eight-week exercise to enable them to set up businesses.
He said the beneficiaries were exposed to various founder vocations under the Livelihood Support Scheme initiated by the UN agency.
Mr Mu’azu listed the vocations to include tailoring, carpentry, welding, irons bending, electrician, ICT appreciation, cosmetology and soap processing as well as beads, cap, shoe and bag making.
The manager explained that the beneficiaries were also trained on Financial Literacy and Business Development to enable them to manage their businesses and ensure sustainability of the programme.
“AUN is the implementing partner of the programme; we are providing skill acquisition training to Persons of Concern (PoCs) in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
“We also link the beneficiaries with micro finance institutions to enable them to access soft loans in order to enhance their businesses,” he said.
Also, Francis Garriba, UNCHR’s Senior External Relations Assistant, said the programme was designed to build resilience and provide means of livelihoods to persons displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.
Mr Garriba called on the beneficiaries to ensure effective utilisation of the items given to them and engage in productive activities.
One of the beneficiaries, Bunu Bulama, 19, said he received training on carpentry at the training centre in Bama.
Mr Bulama, an orphan, added that the training would assist him to take care of his mother and four other siblings.
“I am the eldest son in our household; I will use the money gain from the trade to buy food items and consumables for my mother and sisters,” he said.
Abba Direba, a Community Leader at the Bama Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp, also lauded the gesture, saying it will go a long way to assist them and improvement of their social and economic status.