UNHCR unveils youth engagement centers in Torit

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UNHCR unveils youth engagement centers in Torit
UNHCR unveils youth engagement centers in Torit

Africa-Press – South-Sudan. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Saturday handed over two multi-purpose centers to facilitate youth skilling in Eastern Equatoria State.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, the Deputy High Commissioner for UNHCR, Kelly T. Clements said the centers will provide employment opportunities for youth and returnees from neighboring countries.

The center, she disclosed, is expected to impart skills to about 123,000 people.

“We want to tell the international community about the potential in South Sudan. We want to talk about skills that South Sudanese youth have to rebuild their country. You have the ability and skills,” said Clements.

The two centers were constructed with funds from the European Union (EU), Germany, Norway and Sweden.

The Deputy Governor of Eastern Equatoria State, Mary Alphonse acknowledged the important roles both multi-purpose centers will play in tackling youth issues.

“I am just filled with joy. I know the problem of youth since I have worked with them for so many years. They need a place where they can learn,” she said.

According to the official, the center will inspire many of the youth in the state.

The state youth union speaker, Achayo Joska said the center will provide office space.

“The building is complete, but other things inside are missing, for example, we the youth requested UNHCR to install solar panel, but what we have seen is a generator which we are unable to maintain. We also have the problem of getting jobs, but this is our hope that within this year, majority are going to be employed because we have access to the internet,” she stressed.

The State Secretary to the Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade in Sweden, Diana Janse said her country will continue supporting South Sudan beyond provision of humanitarian assistance.

“Sweden is a long-standing partner to UNHCR and supports its work here in South Sudan. As a partner, we will continue to support and it is obvious that supporting humanitarian work is not enough. You need to give opportunities for moving beyond that for longer-term and it is obvious we need to invest in youth,” she said.

Bosco Ongee, a youth leader from Magwi County said the multi-purpose center will transform livelihoods of many youths in the county.

“This center is going to be resourceful for us, the youth in this area have been complaining of unemployment, it is going to be an opportunity for them to come to the center and utilize the computers and internet,” said Bosco.

Stella Sunday Joe, a 25- year- old laboratory technician, said the multi-purpose centers would help the youth in accessing available online job opportunities.

“This center is going to help us a lot. We do not have access to internet, most of us are idol and loitering the streets. This center is going to help us access internet for our future plans, jobs are advertised on the internet and you can get a job advert and apply and possibly get a job,” she remarked.

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