By Hope Nda
The Buea-based cost-free vocational training institute, Centre for Community Regeneration and Development, CCREAD, graduated its fifth batch of students during a graduation ceremony on May 30 held on its campus at Bwitingi, Buea.
The 51 trainees in ICT and Secretarial Studies; and hairdressing and beauty maintenance were told by CCREAD Director, Dr Hilary Ewang Ngide, to “remain good ambassadors of the training programme by training others,” given that the CCREAD is a “generational skill-building programme”.
The students underwent nine months of vocational training on a cost-free basis and a cross-section of them, who were outstanding in performance, received gifts such as complete desktop computers and electronic hair dryers to enable their startup businesses in what they learnt.
Addressing the students, Guest Speaker Bridget Ndile, who represented the Director of the National Employment Fund, said the education they acquired is not an achievement but an empowerment towards achievement.
She added that to be unique as entrepreneurs, they must first master themselves in terms of strengths and weaknesses and in terms of what they can do, and also be able to effectively communicate with their workers and customers.
“For you to be able to overcome, to be able to compete with the competitors, you need a unique business idea and you also need to be consistent in whatever you are doing. Your initiative and your earnestness will help to grow your business. So you have to patiently and earnestly grow your business to satisfy your customers,” she said.
After graduation, the students will still be monitored to set up their business establishments, and CCREAD will continue coaching and mentoring them, says Director, Dr Hilary Ewang.
“They have gained a lot of skills that we are setting up our monitoring and evaluation unit to make sure they follow them up into what they will be doing after this. Lots of them have received gifts from the centre… but we are going to follow this up… the main point of the project is to ensure they get economically and socially empowered,” Dr HilaryEwang said.
CCREAD is a humanitarian organisation affiliated with the United Nations and has been operating since 2013, having graduated over 3,000 women and young people.
It is the first-ever organisation in Africa to have won the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development.
“We are rooted in result-oriented project activities at the level of the community that engage people, families, for the sole mission of social and economic empowerment, mainstream with environmental protection,” says Dr Ewang.
The best graduating student at the recent graduation ceremony was Unice Motto from the ICT Department, who earned a GPA of 3.17.
“I can now go out there and look for a job for myself; maybe if there is no job I can create one by maybe opening documentation. So I don’t know what the future holds for me out there, but I believe it’s for the best,” she told the press.
Also present at the graduation was renowned humanitarian advocate, Esther Omam, who encouraged the graduates to remain steadfast, hardworking and determined in whatever they do.