KOBOKO. A total of 1, 519 youths from various districts of West Nile have received startup kits after five months of training organized by ACAV, an Italian International group for technical cooperation with developing countries.

The youths acquired skills in various fields of carpentry and joinery, plumbing, motor vehicle and motorcycle mechanics, welding and metal fabrication.

Others are knitting, catering and hotel management, phone repair, tailoring and garment cutting, electrical installation, saloon and hair dressing.

The training was organized under expanding access for skills and labour market for youths (EASY) project.

The last lot of the 95 trainees was passed out on Wednesday at ACAV training centre in Koboko district.

During the function, Saidi Aringaonzi, 19, who graduated in tailoring and garment cutting said the sewing machine he received will help him to start his dream work of making clothes like school uniforms to earn a living.

Meanwhile Comfort Driciru, another graduate said with the sewing machine received, she is going to request her parents to contribute some money as start-up capital for her to buy materials.

But Mr Emmanuel Mayo, the ACAV monitoring and evaluation officer identified inadequate support from the parents, negative community attitudes towards vocational education and training as some of the challenges they encountered in the process of implementing the EASY project.

However, Mr Patrick Bongo Namisi, the ACAV programs officer called upon the beneficiaries to go out and exploit the skills acquired from the training by working hard with the available equipment at hand.

Mr Bongo castigated youths for having more desire of acquiring quick riches without working hard.

"There is no shortcut to wealth. A serious youth will put desire for success greater than failure and what comes easily in life does not last but what lasts in life doesn’t come easily in turn as it requires a lot of effort," Bongo told the youth.

Mr Patrick BongoMr Patrick Bongo Namisi, the ACAV deputy programs officer hands over a kit to one of the beneficiaries. PHOTO BY JOSEPH ODAMA.

The Koboko district male youth councillor, Mr Ashraf Mambu urged youths to stop rushing for marriage when they don’t have the capacity to look after a family.

He instead asked them to take advantage of the youth livelihood program to boost their capacity by applying for loans to make use of the skills acquired during the training.

Mr Stephen Mutto, the Koboko district vice chairman said the district is going to closely follow up all the beneficiaries through their local council one chairpersons to ensure that the resources invested in them is not put to waste.

The EASY project which has been spearheaded by ACAV in collaboration with five district local governments of Arua, Maracha, Yumbe, Moyo and Koboko in West Nile region was funded by the European Union (EU).

The 3-year project that will end this year has so far produced a total of 1,519 youths from the five districts of West Nile.