Our Vocational Training Program Begins

[Original by Ko IMANAKA, Sudan Project (September 15, 2021); Translated by C. Rosenberg]

In South Kordofan, Sudan, there are many young people who have been unable to get an education or learn skills that will help them find work due to conflict in the region. In addition, it is not easy to find a job in Kaduqli, where there are few job opportunities for people who need to support their families because their parents have passed away or live in rebel-controlled areas. Because of this, many people work in agriculture during the rainy season, and charcoal-making during the dry season. However, such a lifestyle is very difficult in Sudan, where annual inflation rates exceed 400%.

To address this issue, JVC has begun a vocational training initiative that aims to help the displaced population create and obtain jobs, as well as gain skills to help them do so. We are implementing this initiative with consideration to each participant’s age, familial status, and educational background. We have approximately 120 participants, who will be trained in one of four different fields (welding, rickshaw/tuk-tuk mechanics, sewing, and food processing).

The welding group.

The rickshaw/tuk-tuk mechanics group.

The sewing group.

The food processing group.

The Girls from South Sudan’s Yida Refugee Camp

From the left: Nasreen, Huda, Susan. They joined our sewing group.

The three girls have lived in the Yida refugee camp in the neighboring country South Sudan for four to nine years due to military conflict in the area. When the previous government fell, border restrictions between rebel-held areas and government-controlled areas were loosened, and the three girls came to Kaduqli. Since they were taught English in Yida, they were able to communicate with us in English.

Susan shows off some work clothes she made for the mechanics group.

Huda told us how she got involved with our vocational training.

“My parents are currently still living in South Sudan, and I live in Kaduqli with my uncle, but I want to help my family. I am very grateful to JVC for this opportunity; I hope to use this training in my future, and that many others will be able to participate.”

Salim: A Late but Welcome Addition to the Mechanics Group

Salim Jabalallah Maki

While he was not on the initial registration list, Salim said he heard about our initiative from a neighbor so he came to the opening ceremony. While his age, 25, was above our target age group, his enthusiasm and determination was enough to convince us to add him to the group despite the short notice.

He told us that since he graduated high school, he has been making a living from agricultural work, but that it is not sufficient income to support himself. He was born with a disability that affects his leg, so he walks with crutches. He comes to our training by bicycle every day.

“When I get home, I’m going to read my notes and review what I’ve learned each day.” Even on the first day, Salim brought a notebook and pen and diligently detailed the instructor’s explanations in his notes. Out of the thirty people in his group, Salim was the only one to do so.

He also recorded a message for you, which you can watch below:

“My name is Salim Jabalallah Maki.

I live in Muthalath.

I participated in JVC’s vocational training initiative to learn new skills and to create a new future for myself.

Once I learn the necessary techniques, I hope to open my own workshop.

I’m 25 years old.

I am deeply grateful for JVC’s work, and that of the others in my group.

And I also thank the JVC staff and the trainer Mr. Fathi.”

In the future, in addition to vocational training, we plan to provide support for employment with life skills training classes in order to develop communication and problem-solving skills necessary for working in society, as well as on-the-job training in actual workshops. Although our classes have just begun, the attendance rate is very high and the participants are incredibly enthusiastic about learning new skills. They are all highly motivated, and hope to work to support their families and advance their careers. We appreciate your continued support.

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