ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 29 May) – A total of 100 internally displaced persons (IDPs) or “bakwits” in this city are set to complete a month-long livelihood skills training Wednesday next week.
The training is aimed to provide livelihood skills to individuals displaced by the siege in September of last year to enable them to recover and start a new life.
The siege broke out when hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels loyal to Nur Misuari infiltrated this city.
Ma. Soccoro Rojas, head of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), said the skills training include plumbing, carpentry, food processing and/or wellness/cosmetology.
The training is being held at the covered court in Barangay Tulungatung.
Rojas said the conduct of the skills training is a joint undertaking of the city government through her office and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The “bakwits” that are undergoing the month-long training are presently housed at the Tulungatung transitory site, which houses 415 families comprising of 2,391 individuals.
Rojas said that Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar will lead the bakwits’ graduation rites that will coincide with the distribution of starter kits, which they can use to earn a living in a bid to rebuild their lives.