UNIFIL honing skills of young Lebanese, 05 July 2012

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23 Aug 2012

UNIFIL honing skills of young Lebanese, 05 July 2012

A young man stands on a ladder, drilling holes and fixing electrical cables in the roof, with what, at a glance, look like seasoned hands. In the same room are seven others, busy doing other electrical works in UNIFIL's procurement office that has been turned into a training room.

Hussein Fakih is among 13 young men who are being taken through the drills in an vocational training programme sponsored by UNIFIL. The training kicked off on 3 July at UNIFL's Headquarters in Naquora and is meant to equip them with skills to enhance their technical training.

"The electrical connections have been disabled," says Acraf Hasrouny reassuringly. Hasrouny, who works with the electrical unit of UNIFIL, adds that the hands-on approach will enable the students to get "very good exposure".

The students who will participate in a two-month vocational training programme were picked from the electrical, air-conditioning and mechanical classes at the Bint Jubayl Public Technical School in Southern Lebanon. They are currently in the second year of their technical education and they will get practical experience in their respective fields from UNIFIL's technical units during their summer break.

Topics to be covered include basic vehicle maintenance, electrical training, specialising in air-conditioning and refrigerator maintenance, and, mechanical training on generators.

The students are from nine villages located in the south of Lebanon:, Bint Jubayl Caza, and two villages in Marjiyoun Caza.

The project, a unique initiative of UNIFIL's Civil Affairs section, aims to build the capacity of Technical School students in vocational training and encourage UNIFIL technical sections to share their vast knowledge and experience with youth from local communities.

It is envisaged that the students will also gain some knowledge and experience from a diverse international environment.

"This is a good opportunity for me and the students," says Hasrouny. "I want to pass on everything I know to these students because I have learned a lot while working for UNIFIL. And by coincidence, students come from the same institution where I studied."

The group, he adds, are eager to learn and will benefit a lot from the programme, if they keep up the enthusiasm.

At the generator unit, an excited Hussein Melhem and David Hatoum, wearing their blue overalls, are ready for the training.

"We are very happy to be working with all these new machines and other modern equipment," they say.

At school, they have not been exposed to the kind of equipment found at UNIFIL, and they are looking forward to learning how to use diesel generators.
Per Einarson, the supervisor of the Generator Unit, is optimistic that the approach they have adopted for the training will be beneficial to the students.

"This experience is good for the students and for us also as UNIFIL. Being a good generator technician in Lebanon with its recurrent electricity problems is very marketable," he says.

This project is in line with this year's international youth day which will be marked in August 2012 under the theme - Building a Better World: Partnering with Youth.