132 youth in Sembabule and Kyotera districts have been enrolled to benefit from the vocational training programs by the East African Crude Oil Pipeline-EACOP project.
The beneficiaries were selected from the project-affected households in the different parts of Kyotera and Sembabule districts. Enrollment is part of the livelihood restoration program which is intended to equip young people with skills that can increase their opportunities to restore and improve their livelihoods and gain capacities.
The students comprising 89 males and 46 females were enrolled at St Charles Lwanga Technical Institute Butende and Mummy’s Institute of Beauty Design and Commercial Studies in Masaka City.
Speaking at the inauguration of the students, John Bosco Habumugisha the EACOP Deputy Managing Director observed that training programs target to provide opportunities to persons whose livelihoods or income levels will are adversely affected by the pipeline project, such that they gain means to at least restore or improve their livelihoods through the various income-earning enterprises.
The benefiting students will be trained in welding, plumbing, electrical installation, garment design, motor vehicle, and motorcycle mechanics, building, and construction among the survival skills that will enable them to transform their lives.
Habumugisha indicates that besides the direct monetary compensation to the project-affected persons, the project is also required to create long-term positive impacts that stretch beyond the project’s lifetime.
Upon completing the training, Habamugisha is optimistic that the students will become good ambassadors for the project and eventually help to neutralize the public criticisms and misrepresentation it has suffered.
Achilles Mawanda, the Principal of St Charles Lwanga Technical Institute Butende says that the students are going to be equipped with basic vocational skills, for which they will also be accessed for certification by government entities.
He explains that some of the benefitting students had dropped out of the formal education system for various reasons, saying that training will reawaken their fortunes.
Ibrahim Kagisha, one of the students enrolled for the training indicates that the project is offering them a grand opportunity to nurture their potential. He has however appealed to the EACOP project managers to give them priority while recruiting staff that executes the different roles during its implementation stages.