SWAT: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has initiated skill enhancement training for the youth of Swat’s conflict-hit communities. It is being implemented by the Sarhad Rural Support Programme (SRSP) to train the youth in different skills and help them stand on their own feet, and in the process strengthen and diversify livelihood capacities of vulnerable and war-affected communities.
Shakeel, an orphan of Barikot, who is learning welding told The Express Tribune that, “I have been the sole provider for my family after my father died and have had to earn a pittance to support them. But now after being trained as a welder, I will be able to initiate my own small business and will be able to better support my family.”
“This is a peace and development programme under the UNDP. Initially, training in five skills is being imparted, which includes training for electricians, masons, plumbers, welders and auto-mechanics. More than 75 young people of the affected areas will be trained,” explained a member of the SRSP Swat.
He added that the trained people would be provided with tool kits to aid their respective skill sets and a daily allowance was also being given to them during the training.
Regarding the extension of the training programme he said that, “The scope of the programme is very wide as many more training sessions will be provided covering the whole district.
Rahmatullah, a resident of Ashar Banr area of Charbagh Tehsil, one of the regions worst affected by the crisis, where the majority of the people have no source of income told The Express Tribune, “We have chosen to become electricians as it has great scope in the area. I am learning it keenly to improve the financial situation of my nine-member family. This will certainly help improve our standard of life. We suffered a lot during the insurgency, now we are thankful that these skill -enhancement programmes have been initiated for us.”
Syed Badshah, a resident of Kotali area of Koz Aba Khel, who was learning plumbing told The Express Tribune, “Our youth needs training in such skill, it will be a real and true help to the youth of the area.”
The Peace and Development Programme for the communities aims to provide livelihood and economic recovery opportunity through skills and development as well as asset replacement.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 25th, 2010.