AFRICA/UGANDA - The refugees learn how to make hand-crafted products with the help of JRS

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Kampala (Fides Service) - As part of an initiative to help the urban refugees to achieve greater self-sufficiency, JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service) has launched in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, a new training course for refugees which will allow them to learn the basics for the production of handicrafts. According to information sent to Fides by the General Curia of the Jesuits, the first course was attended by a group of five refugees, who learned to make earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pendants, belts, postcards, bags, in addition to acquiring skills in the field of embroidery, using local materials easy to find, such as paper, wood beads and vegetable fibers. "It was a valuable opportunity for us: instead of giving us a fish, they taught us how to fish, simply by giving us a fishing line. Now I am ready for fishing", said Anastase, a Rwandan refugee who attended the course. The craft course was organized as a result of an evaluation conducted in 2010 which saw the refugees express a desire to do so. "As refugees, we need a formation that we can build on in the current situation. Learning to produce handicrafts is the best thing for us", said one refugee. The program also includes courses in catering, hairdressing and tailoring. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 06/28/2011)