Joint Partnership between private sector, donor agencies and BCGR to provide vocational Training Opportunities

BCGR, Holcim Lanka, GIZ & NAITA jointly trains 185 youths at Kandakadu Rehabilitation Centre.

Bureau of Commissioner General Rehabilitation, in collaboration with Holcim Lanka, GIZ and NAITA, has launched a Vocational Training programme at the Kandakadu Protective Accommodation and Rehabilitation Centre (PARC) on 17 October 2011. Under the progamme, 185 rehabilitees are to be trained in diverse vocational skills - Masonry, Carpentry, Plumbing, Motor Mechanism and Boat Manufacturing craftsmanship. The total cost of the project is estimated to be approximately Rs 12 million. Masonry training component is to be funded by Holcim Lanka while funding for carpentry, plumbing and electrical wiring training component is to be provided by GIZ (German Development Corporation) BTA would provide funding for the motorcycle / outboard motor craftsmanship training.

It should be recalled that Holcim Lanka in collaboration with NAITA have so far provided training in masonry to 700 rehabilitees who were awarded National Vocational Qualification Level 2 (NVQL 2) certificates. On completion of training and award of certificates, with the support of GIZ and WUSC, they were provided with a tool-kit each enabling them to engage in masonry work as a means of livelihood upon integration in to society.

Brigadier K.W.Y.Jayathilake, Coordinating officer of Rehabilitation (East) welcome the all the participants to the ceremony and thanks them for there joint effort to successfully implementing the training programmed.

Speaking at the inauguration of the new Vocational Training Program, Mr Depta reiterated that GIZ was pleased to fund this project as part of its continuing commitment to assist Peace Building efforts through Vocational Training. In this context, he drew attention to the main objective of the project which was to support and assist youth affected by conflict in the East. He reiterated GIZ’s continuing commitment in this area pointing out that this would be the 6th training program to be supported by GIZ.

Dr Tissa Jinasena speaking at the function stated that NAITA was delighted to be associated with the BCGR, Holcim Lanka and GIZ in providing vocational training facilities to youth who were affected by the conflict.

Mr Palitha Jayasinghe of Holcim Lanka mentioned that the duration of the training would be 6 months. He urged all trainees joining the programme to complete the training and obtain the relevant proficiency certificate which is recognized internationally. Trainees who complete the programme and undergo assessment would be awarded the NVQ Level 3 Certificate and a tool-kit.

Mr. Modestus Fernando, Deputy Commissioner General of Rehabilitation who represented the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation at the inauguration, expressed appreciation to NAITA, GIZ, BTA and Holcim Lanka for the invaluable support extended by them to train rehabilitees in the various trades.

He described how various armed separatist groups had robbed the surrendees of their right to a productive and fruitful civilian life by realizing their potential capabilities and talents. They had hitherto been deprived of freedom to exercise their free will, access education and avail themselves the opportunities to pursue a suitable means of livelihood as well as the right to lead a dignified life.

He drew attention to the fact that rehabilitation was akin to “resuscitation”; an act of giving life and hope to those who had been overwhelmed with despair and whose souls have been dead due to the emotional and physical trauma that had been their lot for so long. Every effort is being made by the BCGR with the assistance of well wishers such as those present today to provide surrendees with opportunities to gain knowledge, develop their skills and inherent talents to enable them to play their role as useful, contented members of society through self-fulfillment. Opportunity to master a skill that is being afforded by the Vocational Training program inaugurated today, will indeed help in no small measure to achieve this goal.

He further pointed out that it was quite apparent that these cadres undergoing rehabilitation were gifted and were capable of deep commitment. Their resourcefulness was all the more noteworthy as they did not have access to formal education or instruction. Hence, it was of paramount importance to harness their skills and energies and re-direct them towards activities that can benefit the society and the country as a whole. It was the responsibility of all to channel these trainees to become productive members of society who would never again be lured back to a path of rebellion.

DCGR emphasized the importance of Public and Private sector collaboration in establishing skills training facilities which would ensure qualifications with recognized levels of proficiency that would open avenues of employment for the trainees, both locally and internationally.

Finally DCGR thanks to the Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reform Hon.Chandrasiri Gajadeera for all the support and arranged memorandum of understanding with Ministry of Youth affairs and Skills Development to get there are support for Rehabilitation programme. The guidance of Commissioner General of Rehabilitation Major General Chandana Rajaguru and the unstinted commitment of Major Gamini Rathnayake OIC & all the staff of the PARC Kandakadu provided the necessary impetus to Brigadier K.W.Y.Jayathilake, Coordinating officer of Rehabilitation (East) to act as the driving force behind this initiative.