Nine students with various disabilities have received their end of training attestations from the SHUMAS Vocational Rehabilitation Centre in Bamenda after two years of intensive course work and hands on training in either hairdressing, sewing, knitting, piggery and shoe-mending.
In a colourful graduation ceremony presided at by the Divisional Officer for Bamenda III Sub Division on May 29, 2018 at the SHUMAS head office, Bamenda the students also received some start up material to help insert them in the different trades they have learnt.
In a welcome address during the ceremony, the Director General of the SHUMAS Mformi Ndzerem Stephen Njodzeka said the center has as main objective to empower persons with disabilities socio-economically and reinsert them into society as development partners.
“We did not just create the center, but we made the training free of charge so that all could benefit from its services. Realizing that most trainees still faced difficulties coming to the center due to lodging difficulties, we have constructed a dormitory facility which is free of charge to help especially trainees coming in from other divisions or locations around town that are faraway. Those lodged in the dormitory are expected to contribute only for their feeding with a minimal amount of 300frs for three meals each day” he added.
While congratulating the graduating trainees for their hard work and endurance Mr. Ndzerem reminded them that the society will not be as tolerant as the school environment.
He called on the parents and guardians of the graduating trainees to support the graduates so that they can be able to achieve the objectives of their training by ensuring that they carry out their work.
The SHUMAS boss thanked Rotary International especially Hand Up Rotary Canada, Guelph Rotary Club and Kumbo Rotary Club for supporting the provision of start-up material for the graduates.
On behalf of the graduates one of the students with a speech impairment thanked SHUMAS for coming up with a center that can cater for persons with special needs and Rotary Club International for supporting them with start-up material.
The representative of the Divisional Officer for Bamenda III Sub Division in his speech thanked SHUMAS for accompanying government in promoting inclusive development by training persons with special needs emphasizing that disability is not inability.
This was corroborated by the representative of Rotary International Yaouba Ibrahim who is also President of Kumbo Rotary Club. He noted with satisfaction that their partnership with SHUMAS has been very fruitful with projects satisfactorily implemented.
The SHUMAS Vocational Rehabilitation Centre, located at the head office in Bamenda, offers training in income-generating life skills such as sewing, knitting, traditional embroidery, shoe-mending, cane-weaving, hairdressing and jewelry.
People with special needs are trained in one of these trades and basic life skills through a free two-year individually adapted training course.
There is a dormitory on- site for those who come from far away. Upon successful completion of the course, graduates receive materials to help them set up their own workshops in their communities.
After the training, SHUMAS continues to monitor their progress and work with parents/guardians to overcome obstacles. So far, more than 40 students have completed or are completing their training. Some graduates are able to support their families through the proceeds of their workshops.
By Njodzefe Nestor