Certification of appreciation to FCCISL-CHEER

FCCISL CHEER project (CHAMBER-NETWORK ENGAGEMENT IN ECONOMIC REHABILITATION) a part of the EU-ACAP project funded by the European Union (under its EU-Assistance for Conflict Affected People 2009/2013 Programme) and implemented by OXFAM GB, received a certificate of appreciation form the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation for providing five hundred children of war, a new lease of life with a vocational training of their choice in a construction industry related field. This certificate was presented to Kosala Wickramanayake President FCCISL by A. Dissanayake Secretary, Ministry of Rehabilitation and Prisons Reforms, who was the Chief Guest at the ceremony organized by the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation on the occasion of reintegrating rehabilitees with their families held in Vavuniya last week. This event also marked the occasion of handing over certificates to final 200 rehabilitees who were trained by the FCCISL CHEER Project.

Out of 500 trained 350 male rehabilitees followed programs on Welding, Carpentry, Electrical Wiring and Masonry while 150 female beneficiaries followed training on CAD and 3D drafting.

Each training course carried 100 hour training and comprised theory and practice of the respective fields of training. In addition, the beneficiaries were also provided with a session of counselling and positive thinking. Training sessions were residential and males were trained at the FCCISL-Handwerk Centre in Malegoda Payagala and females at the girls rehabilitation centre Pampaimadu Vavuniya. The Chief Incumbent of the Maha Viharaya, Venerable Malegoda Nantha Nayaka Thero has been a guiding light to all the trainees from the very first day of the training encouraging them to participate at various functions and religious ceremonies at the Viharaya, strengthening their bonds with the Sinhalese communities. For many trainees it is the first such experience.

The certificates with international recognition are jointly awarded by the Handwerkskammer Koblenz Germany, National Construction Association of Sri Lanka and FCCISL. These beneficiaries will further receive on the job training under Army Engineers. On the completion of their rehabilitation they will be re-integrated to the society under the direction and supervision of the Bureau of the Commissioner General Rehabilitation.

The trainees would therefore hold an internationally valid certificate of vocational education, experience certification and certification of clearance from the Sri Lanka Army and are in a position to secure jobs within their communities or even secure jobs overseas with further experience. Once re-integrated, the details of the trainees would be available with Bureau of Commissioner General of Rehabilitation. FCCISL and NCASL networks would support them to explore employment / self employment opportunities.

FCCISL CHEER is implemented in association with FCCISL and its Member District Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Ampara, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Vavuniya and Mannar. Under this initiative, CHEER project intends contributing towards the achievement of key result 1 of the EU ACAP Project, which is to ensure that women and men of IDP families, have capacity to pursue their choice of economic activities to significantly improve their household income and food security while contributing to strengthening of relationships between different ethnic communities.

FCCISL President Kosala Wickramanayake commenting on this achievement said that FCCISL was involved from the time of developing National Framework on Reintegration of Ex-Combatants in 2009, and he was representing FCCISL in Working Groups. Understanding the importance of this national endeavor FCCISL was pleased to be involved through its CHEER Project to formally build capacity of these young beneficiaries to pursue their choice of economic activity. He thanked OXFAM GB and EU- ACAP project for providing guidance and financial assistance towards this initiative and all other stakeholders for their valuable contribution.

Brig. Sudantha Ranasinghe, Commissioner General of Rehabilitation and the staff of the Bureau had been extending their fullest support for this initiative for which initial discussion began during the period of Major General Daya Rathnayaka, current Chief of Staff of Sri Lanka Army, while he was the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation. This project is the brain child of Mr. Kosala Wickramanayake President FCCISL.

CHEER Project is directly supervised by Dr. Thusitha Tennakoon, Secretary General of FCCISL under the guidance of President Kosala Wickramanayake and the Board of

Directors of FCCISL.With this we have accomplished the target given by the EU-ACAP Project to train 500 children of war, ahead of schedule in 58% of the time lapsed. We have already begun sending beneficiaries, who have been released for interviews said Sam Stembo National Project Director of the FCCISL CHEER Project.