Canadian delegation visits Trincomalee, sees WUSC activities

[TamilNet, Thursday, 17 March 2005, 19:16 GMT]
A Canadian parliamentarian delegation led by Ms Maria Minna arrived in Trincomalee Thursday around noon on a fact-finding mission accompanied by Mr.Jean-Philippe Linteau, Political Officer of the Canadian High Commission in Colombo. Other members of the Canadian delegation were Mr.Derek Lee, Mr.Joe Comartin, both parliamentarians and a Senator Mr.Jospeh Day.

Candian parliamentarians  in Trinco
Canadian parliamentarians posing with trainees in the Government Technical College

Candian parliamentarians  in Trinco
Ms Maria Minna, head of the Canadian parilamentary delegation is with girls undergoing training in tailoring in Government Technical College in Trincomalee
Candian parliamentarians  in Trinco
Ms Maria Minna, head of the Canadian parilamentary delegation is with girls undergoing training in tailoring in Government Technical College in Trincomalee
Candian parliamentarians  in Trinco
Candian parliamentarians see a girl undergoing training in welding division of the Government Technical College
The delegation during its stay first paid a visit to the Trincomalee district office of the World University Service of Canada (WUSC). Mr.M.Pushparajan, District Programme Officer of the WUSC received the delegation. Later the Canadian delegation visited the Government Technical College in Trincomalee and witnessed the skills training provided for unemployed youths in welding and tailoring.

Mr.Pushparajan at a discussion held in the Trincomalee WUSC office briefed the delegation about the projects that were implemented in the Trincomalee district during the conflict and currently being implemented after tsunami disaster.

All WUSC projects in the Trincomalee district are implemented with the financial aid provided by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and AusAid, Mr.Pushparajan said.

The goal of the WUSC is to create an opportunity for self or wage earning employment. WUSC provides skills training to unemployed youths in several trades such as masonry, carpentry, welding, plumbing, motor repairs, and tractor repairs, tailoring, computer science and house wiring. Training courses are conducted on the basis of the government syllabus, Mr.Pushparajan told the Canadian parliamentary delegation.

Mr.Pushparajan added that after tsunami disaster there is high demand for training courses in masonry and carpentry because of reconstruction projects launched in the affected coastal areas. Women are also applying in large number for these skills training, he added.

Mr.Pushparajan told the Canadian delegation that there were no training courses conducted without the participation of women. Gender balance is maintained in recruiting trainees for skills training. At least forty percent of the intake is ensured for women.

WUSC commenced the implementation of the Project for Rehabilitation through Education and Training (PRET) in Sri Lanka in 1989.Since then; the Project has gone through three phases of financing. The fourth phase of PRET started in mid-2003, WUSC sources said.

The purpose of the project is to enhance the standard of living for poor, under and unemployed women and youth who have been directly affected by the conflict, through the removal of barriers to the acquisition of skills required for employment and the promotion of economic development, WUSC sources said.

The PRET project areas covers the districts, Mullaitivu, Killinochchi, Vavuniya, Mannar, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai in the northeast province, the districts of Hambantota and Matara in the southern province, and districts of Badulla, Moneragala and Anuradhapura in the north central province, WUSC sources said.

WUSC currently conducts skills training courses in masonry in Eachchilampathu division, carpentry in the divisions of Kinniya, Muttur and Gomarankadawela and welding, tailoring, house wiring and aluminium fabrication in Trincomalee division, said Mr.Pushparajan

The primary target groups of PRET includes unemployed and underemployed, female heads of household (mainly widows), orphans, ex-detainees or soon to be released detainees who were detained for periods of for more than three months, youth who are disable and displaced. Furthermore it is hoped that once demobilization of combatants takes place, PRET and its partners will have the capacity to provide necessary skills training for their re-integration into civil society, WUSC sources said.

WUSC founded in 1939, WUSC is a non-denominational, non-sectarian development organization. WUSC is incorporated as a non-profit organization and has been granted tax-exempt status by the Canadian Minister of National Revenue.

 

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