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Centre offers technical, vocational training for Syrian refugees

By JT - Mar 30,2014 - Last updated at Mar 30,2014

AMMAN — The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and UNICEF on Sunday inaugurated a training centre at the UAE–run Mreijib Al Fhoud Camp that will offer a range of informal technical and vocational courses for young Syrian refugees.

The programme, supported by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), is drawing considerable attention with more than 250 Syrians aged between 16 and 32 already enrolled prior to the official opening date, according to an NRC-UNICEF statement.  

The centre was inaugurated in the presence of UAE Ambassador Abdullah Nasser Al Ameri, British Ambassador Peter Millett, UNICEF Jordan Representative Rozanne Chorlton and NRC Country Director Robert Beer.

“Youth are too often marginalised and forgotten in emergencies. That’s why NRC has specialised programmes that directly engage youth and their communities to enhance both their skills and personal capacities,” the statement quoted Beer as saying.

The programme includes several training disciplines, including tailoring, electrical wiring, IT and business skills, as well as supporting classes in Arabic, mathematics and life skills. Several entrepreneurial skills such as office management and marketing are also taught.

In addition, the programme offers classes in sports, arts, handicrafts and gardening, and has a library dedicated to its students. 

“NRC is replicating many of its Zaatari informal education functions in the [Mreijib Al Fhoud] refugee camp to cater to one of the most vulnerable groups within the refugee community,” Beer added. 

More than 1,000 students have benefited from the NRC-UNICEF Youth Programme in Zaatari since its inception in early 2013.  

The programme aims to offer an environment that gives a sense of normality, purpose and hope to vulnerable youths who are forced to live in refugee camps, the statement said.

“Syrian youth and adolescents are desperately in need of things to do and safe places to do them in. Opportunities that offer vocational training and build their life skills can help them make the most of an extremely tough situation,” Chorlton said.

“These programmes are crucial in ensuring they can better deal with their experiences of conflict and displacement,” she added.

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