Business News of 2013-12-16

Over 570 Liberian Refugees benefit from UNIDO skills training

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), through the funding of the Japanese Government has been implementing skills training and development project for the Liberian and Ghanaian population living in and around the Buduburam Refugees Camp to equip them with employable skills.
The business and vocational training programme aims at helping the refugees who have been living in Ghana for some time now to be economically independent and mentally proficient in various fields to set up their own businesses when they return to their country.
Mr Kwame Asante, the National Programme Coordinator, UNIDO Ghana speaking last Friday at Photo Voice Project presentation at the Budumburam Refugee Camp stated that this year’s supplementary programme has enrolled over 500 refugees and they are expected to complete their respective courses in April 2014.
Mr. Asante also stated that after the participants have completed the training programme they will go through NVTI assessment which they will be awarded with appropriate certification and startup kits before they leave the country.
“In the past the Government of Japan funded a similar programme between 2007 and 2011 which we were able to train over 2179 refugees and host community members of whom we are proud of today; we were also able to help 450 youth both in Budumburam here and Krisan Refugees Camp in the Western Region in the agric sector,” he said.
He however mentioned that the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Trade and Industry has been a principal partner in implementing the entire project and appealed to the youth to take advantage of the opportunities being provided by UNIDO to acquire the best of knowledge and skills.

Ms. Kalkidan Shawel Tibebu, UNIDO Intern in charge of the Photo Voice Project explained that photo story gives volunteers the opportunity to tell their stories of their own aspirations and challenges through the lens of cameras and voices of images which ultimately opens up discussion as refugees.
This, she said helps to identify the needs of refugees in order to build skills within disadvantaged and marginalised communities using innovative participatory photography and digital storytelling methods.
“The Photo Voice Project is so personal to me because I have worked as a Journalist before and know what attracts the media which is a big challenge to many organizations as to how to attract the mainstream media; and I find photography as one of the major ways in telling a story which makes it very easy for people to identify themselves with.
There are many communities in Ghana who are in worse situation than the refugees themselves which the media does not care about, therefore we are focusing on Photo Voice Projects to advocate for positive change in the community to achieve social change,” she said.
Ms. Tibebu however bemoaned the media for ignoring basic social developmental issues within the Ghanaian communities and overlooks the refugee situation whereas giving much attention to provocative issues and violence.
She finally called on media practitioners to collaborate with UNIDO to reach out to wider public and major international aid organisations in order to change the lives of the under privileged in the two main refugees’ camp in the country.