By Christopher Nyeko
Gulu: Terra Renaissance, an NGO, under their program Reintegrating War-Affected Youth in Northern Uganda, has successfully trained a total of 48 LRA war returnees who were identified from the 8 districts of the Acholi subregion.
The trainees were passed out after they successfully completed hands-on training in disciplines such as carpentry, joinery, tailoring, and fashion design, which took them 18 months.
At least 53 people were enrolled in the training; however, five dropped out due to social challenges and health conditions.
Out of the 48 who passed out over the weekend, 14 were trained in carpentry, while 34 were trained in tailoring and fashion design.
Odong Benson, head of training at Terra Renaissance, says the returnees were taken through capacity-building enhancement, basic education, simple English, and practical vocational skills.
He notes that, aware that the majority of the returnees come from poor family backgrounds, the Renaissance was providing basic human needs, renting houses, and paying medical bills for all of their enrolled trainees.
Meanwhile, psychosocial support was also offered to them through music, dance, and drama counseling and peace education.
All the trainees were given tools, equipment, startup capital, and rent for their respective businesses for one year to enable them to operate their businesses without difficulty.
Otema Jimmy Fred, head of sub-office Terra Renaissance, says they spent a total of 71.9 million shillings to purchase tool equipment and give the startup capital to the returnees.
Otema reveals that since 2006 to date, the Terra Renaissance has reintegrated about 700 LRA wart returnees, adding that many of the returnees weren’t reintegrated, something he asked the government to prioritize.
Richard Irwenyo, the Gulu city education officer, implores the trainees to embrace workmanship and trust in God.
Akello Stella Immaculate, one of the beneficiaries, says she wants to acquire land through the money he will generate from the business.
Aol Gladys, another beneficiary, says she intends to open her skill training center in the future.
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