AMERICA/COSTA RICA - The first technical training course addressed to Colombian refugees has started

Friday, 27 April 2012

Alajuelita (Agenzia Fides) - The conflicts of the last two decades in Colombia have forced more than 4 million Colombians to seek refuge elsewhere: about half a million are in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela and Panama, but only 22% of these emigrants have been able to activate the legal procedures to obtain refugee status. Thanks to the project for the technical training New Beginnings, the Don Bosco Salesian Center for Education (CEDES), along with representatives from Salesian Missions, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Association of Consultants and international Managers, the first course of technical formation aimed in particular to these refugees was inaugurated. According to a note from Ans sent to Fides, the project aims to improve the quality of life of about 5 000 Colombian immigrants in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Venezuela and Panama. The first 80 students have already started their lessons. Training courses in graphic design, mechanical engineering, electrical installation and computer repair equipment have started. The courses last 300 hours, of which 40 are dedicated to human development, thereby enhancing self-esteem, teamwork skills and leadership in young people. At the end of their training, the CEDES Don Bosco will take care of finding jobs for the placement of the beneficiaries of the project or will advise institutions that can carry out tutoring for those who consider starting their own business. The project will also help the Colombian immigrants to obtain legal status of refugees in countries that have joined the agreement. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 27/4/2012)