The U.S. Mission in Nigeria announced on Friday the completion of two projects under the 2020 Julia Taft Refugee Fund. The projects were implemented in Cross River State by two local non-governmental organizations, Mediatrix Development Foundation (MDF) and Gender and Development Action (GADA), with the aim of providing technical skills to Cameroonian refugees.
The two organizations received a total of NGN 9,500,000 ($23,000) to run the programs in Calabar Municipal, Calabar South, and Akamkpa Local Government Areas (LGAs).
MDF conducted entrepreneurship and business vocational training to achieve self-reliance and economic sustainability in the refugee resettlements. They successfully trained 50 refugees and host community members in agriculture, cosmetology, craft production, and tailoring in Akamkpa LGA.
GADA provided 50 women refugees in Calabar Municipal and Calabar South LGAs with vocational training in marketing and sales, book- keeping, simple accounting, and other effective problem-solving skills.
U.S. Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard noted, “it is never easy to leave one’s country of origin. These Julia Taft Refugee Fund projects promoted inclusion and a sense of welcome within communities to ensure the newly relocated families received skills and a path forward for self-sustainability.”
Beneficiary Ntui Favour Eyang lived in a village in Cameroon where she owned a kiosk. However, life changed in 2017 when war reached her village, forcing her to flee to Nigeria with her son. Following the training, she intends to use what she learned in the program as a template for success in her new business in Nigeria.
Assu Manyi Agbor, another beneficiary, said: “I have not just received a certificate and cash assistance for a business startup but have gained skills to plant and grow melons and vegetables and to raise chickens.”
The Julia Taft Refugee Fund is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) to address important gaps in refugee protection and assistance; gaps not addressed by larger multilateral refugee programs.