A cloudy morning of 26th November was all excitement at St. Martin Palorinya Refugee camp for the graduation ceremony of students who participated in a three month vocational training. The courses which included metal fabrications, welding, building, tailoring, electrical installations and catering etc were organized by Comboni Missionaries with the help of partners GIZ, UNHCR and Refugees council Uganda.
The total number of grandaunts was 133, which include both the local and the refugees from the refugee camp. The celebrations started with Mass which was presided over by Fr. Janvie Kabeya who advised the grandaunts to always be humble if they wanted to serve people and not to look down on them because of their gained skills. He also asked them to always pray everyday
While Mr Dhanajaya Bhattarai UNHCR Head of Office Obonyi/Moyo graced the ceremony and congratulated the grandaunts advising them to use the skills gained to better themselves and their families in the settlement. He also advised them to take a message home that they need to engage the youth for they are the Ambassadors of change for the family, community and the world.
While Roselyn Vusia Davina, the Deputy Head for the RISE thanked the Comboni Missionaries especially Br. Fafa for the tireless work he does. She then congratulated the grandaunts telling them that this was not the end but the beginning of a new chapter in their lives. The tool that GIZ and Comboni has given to you is for self reliance. Like the saying goes, ‘its better to teach someone how to fish that to give them fish’ and those skills would not only help them in the community but everywhere they went and encouraged them to upgrade if the opportunity is available.
The training was blended with financial literacy /Entrepreneurship skills, to enable them sustain their startup businesses. With the skilling done, some grandaunts will be employed by organizations, while others will be self employed so how they are to manage the business is why financial literacy taught.
Fr. Pious Anyaja, a comboni Priest representing the comboni Missionaries, congratulated the grandaunts upon the millstone reached and also thanked the Comboni Brothers for the work they do. To the students, he cautioned them that receiving a certificate does not indicate success in life, but success starts when they make use of the skills learnt. Also he advised them to work as a team when starting up the business because it may be easier to put resources together when you are many than when you are alone.