Another 37 students have successfully graduated from Hanbit the South Korean vocational training centre in Bor, courtesy of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan. They are now keen to use their carpentry, welding, bakery, agricultural and other skills to make a living.
“I am so happy. I have graduated from Hanbit, and now I have got a job as manager of a bakery shop here in town. It is an opportunity for me to support my family at this difficult time of South Sudan,” says Aluel Moses Bior, one of many female course participants.
In fact, women have made up more or less half of the seventh batch of students over the 12-week-long training programmes, which apart from practical skills have also included an English course. Females have been notable presences in all disciplines being taught, including traditionally male-dominated areas such as construction, electricity and welding.
The skills the young people from Bor town and from the UN protection of civilians site acquire provide them with income-generating opportunities for themselves, their families and their local communities. Aluel is not the only one who has already secured a job: another three of her studying peers have been snapped up by the labour market as well.
Since its establishment in 2015, the Hanbit vocational centre, the only such institute run by UN peacekeepers in South Sudan, has provided a total of 484 youth with useful and employable skills.
Equally important is Hanbit’s contribution to peaceful coexistence between local communities, regardless of the ethnicity and religious affiliations of their residents. Daily social interaction with peers of different backgrounds help break down social barriers and stereotypes.
This message was also stressed by class valedictorian Anyieth Mabior Anyieth.
“Our new skills are for the development of our communities, and the vocational centre has brought peace among the communities of the Jonglei region,” he said.
The Commander of the South Korean contingent, Colonel Park Suman, assured the gathering of its continuous support to the world youngest nation, including by providing nimble, proactive, robust and skill-based trainings.