Swedish Government Minister visits Dadaab refugee camp

The Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation H.E. Ms Isabella Lövin visited NRC in Dadaab Refugee Complex. Photo: Photo: UNHCR/ Assadullah Nasrullah
 The Swedish Minister for International Development Cooperation H.E. Ms Isabella Lövin visited NRC in Dadaab Refugee Complex on Tuesday, 8th September 2015, where she witnessed activities at the refugee help desks established at the Ifo Refugee Camp.

Lövin held discussions on refugee issues with Dadaab’s Area Deputy County Commissioner, UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), World Food Programme and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and refugee leaders. She was also hosted to a thematic lunch dubbed “Return to Somalia” where NRC’s Area Manager in Dadaab was in attendance together with various other dignitaries.

The support for NRC programmes in Dadaab from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) started in 2010, helping youth to gain access to relevant vocational skill development programmes in Dadaab. As a result of this partnership, 4,000 out-of-school youth are able to access vocational skills opportunities accredited by the national industrial training authority in Kenya.

“The partnership between NRC and SIDA has enabled more young men and women to access vocational and life skills training in 2015; as a result improving their livelihoods and preparing them for voluntary repatriation if they choose.  It has provided them with opportunities to earn income, built their self-esteem and enabled them to fulfil a productive role in their communities”, says Neil Turner, Country Director for NRC in Kenya.

The trained youth are using the skills and knowledge acquired to engage in income-generating activities such as self-employment, business venture and formal employment. NRC is conducting transfer of knowledge and skills, building the capacity of refugee youth who have gone through the programme through further training and exposure to level of skill instructors.

Partnership development initiatives and networking with private companies like Safaricom, Vodafone Foundation supporting the use of Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) in skills training and development. Labour market assessments and development of new areas for skill development also help expand and enrich the quality and relevance of courses provided.

NRC is also preparing refugees who are willing to return to Somalia to ensure that they are able to adapt to the new environment back home. The Information Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA) programme is providing refugees with information on different locations inside Somalia as well as linking with Somalia programme to extend support to returnees relating to income-generating opportunities that they can access back in Somalia.

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