North Darfur: vocational training and internships for students
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15-04-2019 | di COOPI

North Darfur: vocational training and internships for students

In April 2019, the "Promotion of social and economic development in North and South Darfur and Red Sea State" project, financed by the Italian Ministry of the Interior, comes to an end. Its aim was to improve the living conditions of those communities by reducing the causes leading to international migration.

Of the three areas of intervention, COOPI operated in North Darfur, where it supported young people to acquire professional skills and gain access to the workplace, by investing in the quality of the training offer and in the relationship with entrepreneurship.

100 students, aged between 19 and 29 years, have benefited from the professional training program in El Fasher, which lasted 6 months. 50 boys and 50 girls participated in two schools supported by COOPI. The different courses were organised according to the real needs of the local labour market and included mechanics, electronics, welding, hydraulics, information technology, cooking, tailoring and handicrafts sectors.

This training phase was followed by a detailed course on business skills and group dynamics. It eventually aimed to identify the ideal internships for the students to create the perfect bond with some of the local firms, which were willing to have interns.

Hekma's story: the kitchen changed my life

Hekma Adam Suliman is one of the 50 students selected for the training courses within the "Promotion of socio-economic development in North and South Darfur and Red Sea State" project. From the very beginning, Hekma was interested in the food processing sector. This is an activity that positively changed her situation, since she had not been able to find any other job opportunities up to this project.

Hekma Adam Suliman internship at the Crimson Light restaurant in El Fasher

Davide Prata, COOPI Head of Mission in Sudan, interviews her.

Hekma, what did you learn from the training supported by COOPI?

During the training session, I learned a lot about the different types of food to be cooked, about cooking practices and how to prepare food. I also learned how to diversify the qualities and quantities of food to be served to customers.

During your training, you worked at the Crimson Light restaurant, one of El-Fasher's most famous restaurants. Can you tell us how the internship took place?

During the selection process, I was lucky enough to be assigned to the Crimson Light restaurant. The internship lasted two months, during which I was able to put into practice my knowledge of cooking, food preparation and cleaning, always respecting working hours. The restaurant supervisor appreciated my commitment. At the end of the training, he put in a good word for me with the manager.

The internship is over, but they will be getting in touch in the coming months to start a new collaboration.

What have you learned from this experience?

My family and community supported me all along and thanks to how much I earned during the internship, I can now help my family.

What gave me more satisfaction is that now I get called now and then during ceremonies and I am asked for advice during the preparation of dishes. Sometimes my suggestions are also included into the ceremonies menu.

COOPI has been operating in Sudan since 2004 with a coordination office in Khartoum, one in El Fasher - the capital of North Darfur - and various other sites, where Water and Sanitation, Protection and Food Securities activities are carried out and monitored. Recently, COOPI has started a collaboration with technical institutes in El Fasher to provide professional training for young people.

Photo credits: The cover image is purely illustrative