17 January 2018 | The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) recently helped facilitate the vocational training of 350 Congolese refugee students in Rwanda. The students completed six weeks of vocational training in permaculture, plumbing, electrical installation and hair dressing.
According to Rwanda’s The New Times newspaper, ADRA’s partners in the training were the aid organization Impact Hope as well as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
A ceremony marking the end of the course took place on Friday, January 12, at Gitwe Adventist School in the Ruhango District of Rwanda’s Southern Province.
The ceremony was attended by Rwanda’s disaster and refugees management minister, Jeanne d’Arc de Bonheur. The minister said that the training was aimed at helping to respond to reduced international support for refugees.
“It’s a national goal that all people, including refugees, become self-reliant. We hope that such vocational training will enable the beneficiaries to face the world with greater confidence regardless of where they are,” said Bonheur.
UNHCR’s associate programmes officer Dadie Camara said that the refugee crisis in European countries and the fact that refugee problems are becoming perpetual, means that international resources for helping refugees are dwindling.
Geoffrey Kayonde, country director for ADRA’s Rwanda branch said that the decision to provide vocational training was aimed at helping the refugees make a living in their host countries.
“That’s why UNHCR is sponsoring ADRA in providing durable solutions for sustainability of refugees, especially in Rwanda where the politics is open to refugees” said Camara.
The Rwanda Union Mission of the Adventist Church has over 1800 churches and has in excess of 830,000 members.