CHIPINGE – Sixty students graduated with certificates on Friday at Chipinge College of Horticulture at Tongogara Refugee Camp.
The vocation training center is run by the United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe (UCCZ) and it trains both locals and refugees paying US$70 and US$20 fees per term respectively.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Head of Office Amadou Sabi was the guest of honor at the 10th graduation ceremony held at the Vocational Training Centre at Tongogara Refugee Camp.
The students received certificates in the area of cosmetology, garment making, motor vehicle mechanics, welding, brick and block laying and carpentry.
“You have been empowered, you will be able to face anything,” said Sabi.
Several best students received prizes and some of them are Kudakwashe Matiza, brick and block laying; Courage Chigaro, Carpentry and Joinery; Perviltory Kumbula, Cosmetology; Memory Bhobho, garment making and Wellington Maziveyi and Leon Muzopambwa, welding and motor vehicle mechanics respectively.
A sizeable number of the graduates did not turn up for the ceremony as they are already working in South Africa.
The college was established in 1994 specifically for horticulture training and later introduced vocational skills training in 2012. The programme is done under the Youth Education Pack (YEP) which is being spearheaded by Christian Youth Fellowship (CYF), a council under the UCCZ.
Center administrator Victor Ngwenya said the theme of the occasion stressed the need to embrace practical subjects.
“We need to remove this notion of focusing on theoretical learning and embrace practical learning. The country is redoubling efforts to promote skills training in colleges,” said Ngwenya.
UCCZ president, Reverend John Matiza encouraged graduates to excel out there in the world.
UCCZ National Youth Advisor, Harry Mangezi encouraged graduates to get into business ventures and create employment.