Uganda - Inauguration of Salesian Vocational Training Center in Palabek refugee camp

06 February 2019

(ANS - Palabek) - On January 31, on the feast day of Don Bosco, the Salesian Province of Africa Great Lakes (AGL) inaugurated a Center for Vocational Training (CFP) in the refugee camp of Palabek, in the north of Uganda, where a Salesian community lives permanently among refugees, assisting them daily. The camp is home to refugees fleeing civil war and violence in South Sudan. There are currently over 34,000, mostly young people.

by Fr Raphaël Katanga, SDB

It was a day of great joy for the young refugees, because this CFP will facilitate their autonomy and their social integration.

The project of the CFP was conceived as a fundamental element so the Salesian intervention in Palabek be really effective. Starting from the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, various people and organizations of the Salesian Congregation have therefore mobilized to carry out this project.

Thousands of refugees, representatives of non-governmental organizations and a government delegation participated in the opening ceremonies, and several speeches of thanksgiving and encouragement were made by various guests, recipients of the CFP and collaborators.

The young refugees demonstrated their talent by singing some specially composed songs in honor of Don Bosco, with which they praised and thanked the Saint of Youth and his spiritual Sons.

Speaking on behalf of the President of the Republic and speaking on behalf of the government, the Hon. Hilary Onek, Minister for Relief, Disaster Prevention and Refugees, promised to finance the construction of two dormitories, one for boys and one for girls. Then he cut the ribbon, while Fr Raymond Bavumiragiye, Vicar of the Superior of AGL, unveiled the plaque with the name and official logo of the center.

With its 6 training courses, the center will be a flexible structure, able to adapt to the new professions required by the labor market. As also emphasized by Minister Onek, it will provide formation based on skills and will bring young people closer to the working world.

The students of the CFP will benefit from a free formation course of 3-6 months and/or a formation of one year. Everything will depend on the choice of courses and the skills of the individual student.

Furthermore, an internal CFP job placement office has already been set up, which will put students in contact with companies, accompany them on site visits and interviews, and help them find traineeship options.

Through vocational training these young people will be able to give themselves and their families social stability and improve their living conditions.

"We thank the Lord for the realization of this project, through which we will be able to educate good technicians and honest citizens," the Salesians of the Vice Province AGL say in conclusion.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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