Construction of the Australia for UNHCR-funded Vocational Training Centre in Kyaka II refugee settlement has reached the final stage, with most of the campus’s buildings now complete.

The centre will open early next year and offer accredited training in mechanics, hairdressing, carpentry and more. It will provide a pathway into meaningful work for young people between the ages of 14 and 30, as well as other keen refugees and locals who have not had the opportunity before to study.

Kyaka II refugee settlement in Uganda is home to an estimated 27,000 people from surrounding countries, and over half are aged under 30. After they complete primary and secondary school, further education for these young people is extremely limited.

Without vocational skills, employment opportunities remain out of reach and they face long-term dependency on humanitarian aid.

An Australia for UNHCR appeal launched in August 2017 raised $1.4 million to build the Vocational Training Centre (VTC) in the settlement to help refugees make a safe and sustainable living.

The campus includes boys’ and girls’ dormitories, a dining hall, kitchen, staff accommodation, computer labs, workshops and an administration building. Dormitories can accommodate up to 200 students, many of whom will travel long distances to study at the centre.

National Director Naomi Steer visited the VTC in August 2018 to view progress and meet future students.

“The first time I came to Kyaka II refugee settlement I was impressed by how many bright, young people there were here,” she said to community members during her visit.

“But I was also surprised by how very few facilities there were for young people.

“Everybody here has so much potential and we want to give them the training and support to reach that potential.

“Thank you to our Australian donors. We should all be really proud of what’s being achieved here in Kyaka II – a fantastic resource for both refugee and local Ugandan youth.

“I know there’s going to be some great hairdressers, motor mechanics and computer experts in the future.”

Thanks to Australia for UNHCR donors, thousands of young people will obtain vocational skills and build a better future for themselves and their families.

The campus buildings are near completion, including this dormitory for students of the Vocational Training Centre. © Australia for UNHCR 

Did you know the Vocational Training Centre is part of UNHCR’s new vision for supporting the world’s refugees?
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