A non governmental organization, operating in Nigeria, Children of Rural Africa (CORAfrica) has completed the training of 1000 Cameroon refugees, migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the area of agrobusiness and educational opportunities in Cross River State.
Founder of the organization, Dr. Peter Obele Abue, stated that the training would equip the refugees to become self reliant, reduce the poverty, and economic hardship that the refugees and IDPs are going through under degraded condition.
He said that with the skills and capacity built in the refugees, they can afford to fend for themselves rather than stay all day waiting for alms.
Speaking at the training workshop on “Agro-business and Education Opportunities for Refugees Migrants IDPs”, organized by CORAfrica, at Transcorp Hotel Calabar yesterday, the cleric lamented how the entire world now passes through a historical moment marked with alarming frustrations from wars, terrorism, kidnapping and insecurity.
He charged the privileged not to neglect those that are vulnerable adding that the training would help to ameliorate the refugees, IDPS and migrants’ plight.
Dr. Obele stated that the training in Agribusiness and education opportunities became necessary in order to afford the refugees and migrants opportunity to some extent take themselves out from the gory conditions under in which they find themselves as a result of migrating from thier places of origin to Ogoja LGA of Cross River State where they now find solace.
“We the indigenes and host of these visitors have noticed with dismay the gory conditions the families and children of these refugees are living despite the great efforts by UNHCR and their willing partners.
“Nevertheless, it is obvious that these efforts need to be complemented”, he said stressing that his organization CORAfrica, is committed to helping the vulnerable, children and communities who are in dire need of help.
The workshop according to him, is an indication that they are poised to relive their vision of building vibrant and healthy rural communities where every child can prosper, find opportunities, grow and thrive locally.
In his remarks, National Programme Director,Dr. Jimoh Odunayo stated that essence of the workshop was to mitigate the effect of coronavirus pandemic that took negative toll on the economic wellbeing of many including refugees, internally displaced,women and children in Africa and the world at large.
He said that his organization was poised at providing solidarity to the under privileged households, mostly with educationally disadvantaged children having poor access to health care facilities and living in degraded environment, without any good means of livelihood that come with hope of better future.
According to Odunayo, support through CORAfrica, comes with community education centres, boosting economic empowerment among youths and women mostly from Cameroonian refugees settlement and poor households in the communities by giving micro credits to help them succeed in their various vocations.
Odunayo stated that the organization decided to embark on the training of thousand refugees in order to close the gap existing between the training that the refugees had received from implementing partners.
The essence of the training workshop, he emphasized is to look at the opportunities that are available for migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons in the area of agribusiness and educational opportunities.
In his keynote address, former Deputy Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB) Prof Lateef Sanni, who is also the project manager of the phase two Cassava Seed System Project at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan stated that most refugees are sound and should not be underated.
He emphasized improvements in specific areas of agriculture the refugees can key into to boost their prospects in agri businesses.
He added that the areas of strength of these people can be harnessed for the benefit of the host communities.
Also, Director General of the Cross River State Migration Control Agency Abuo stressed the need for the adoption of vocational skills to help boost the economic prospects of the people.
In her earlier remarks, wife of the Cross River State governor, and Special Guest of honour, Dr. Mrs. Linda Ayade who is ably represented by Secretary to State Government SSG, Barr. Tina Banku Agbor, averred that the world was experiencing it’s biggest refugee crises since the second world war as a result of staggering 22 million people who had been forceful displaced by war and persecutions.
Drawing inference from the crises in neighboring Cameroon states, Ayade’s wife stated that apart from being a humanitarian and legal obligation, welcoming refugees taps I to the resourcefulness of some of them that are very creative.
She lauded CORAfrica for organizing the workshop, promising to work together with other stakeholders for the good of the refugees.