On Saturday, 18th June 2016, His Excellency Hon. Mohamed Hassan Fiqi, the Acting President of ISWA attended the Durable Solutions Project for Somali Refugee Returnees closing ceremony, a project implemented by MMC- International partnering with ILO and funded by the Government of Japan as a chief guest at ISWA Meeting Hall, Baidoa-Somalia.
The president of MMC-International Mr Sid Ali Abukar opened the ceremony and delivered a speech to the guests explaining the project, its implementation and achievements. He briefed the officials that the project was launched in February 20 enrolling 320 caseloads (50% returnees, 20% Host communities and 30% of IDPs in Baidoa). “His Excellency and other honorable guests, I cannot get the exact words to express my deep feelings today regarding this event. Before 4 months we received 320 beneficiaries from Refugees and IDPs, and today we have 320 people with different skill sets, I can call this “From despair to Hope”. He remarked. Sid Ali also explained the journey of the report from its launching to this final graduation day. Sid Ali has appreciated the continuous support from the Ministry of Diaspora and Resettlement Affairs which contributed to smooth implementation of the project and he also thanked OCHA and UNCHR for their tireless collaboration and inputs.
Acting President of ISWA then talked with project beneficiaries and local stakeholders and appreciated their involvement with the project. He delivered his valuable speech and expressed his highest gratitude to Japan Government to fund such a work. “On behalf of the President, I thank ILO and Japan for this beautiful job” he commented. “Am very happy to see all these men and women got training for the 5 skill trades in MMCI center. Providing skills and opportunities for wage and self employment is the best thing for the refugee returnees because it creates an economic identity for them” he added. Hon Fiqi has urged the youth to stop risking their lives in immigrating and dying for meaningless in the oceans and the deserts.
Among the present guests included the deputy minister of Planning and International cooperation, The Governor of Bay Ragion Mr Abdirashid and his two deputies on Humanitarian affairs and Admin and Finance respectively and The Auditor General of ISWA Mr Abukar. From the NGOs UNOCHA and UNCHR representatives in Baidoa and other civil society members in Baidoa, The DG for the ministry of Diaspora and Resettlement and all gave their valuable speech.
After completing their speeches, certificates were awarded to all the graduates. In the presence of Hon. Fiqi and the governor, Cash grants were also distributed to the grant winners via Bank Cheques. It was great honor that some of the caseloads received their cheques from the acting president and the Governor.