Tuesday, November 13, 2018
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Protestant Churches Training Youths For Employment 

By George Arrey Agbor

The Council of Protestant Churches in Cameroon, CEPCA, has been engaged in an ambitious programme to arm thousands of youth with professional skills in a bid to help them create or obtain sustainable jobs. Experts from Germany have, in the past eight years, trained students in selected church-run vocational centres in Ombe, Foulassi, Douala, Yaounde, Garoua, Maroua, Souza, Bafut, Limbe, Bandjoun, Mbingo, among others, as part of the programme.

Protestant churches hope that at the end of their training, the students will be well placed to either create jobs for themselves or obtain long-lasting employment. In its constant efforts to improve on the programme, CEPCA recently organised the "Forum of Exchange on Pedagogic Innovation’ (FESIP 2010), the sixth such gathering in as many years.

The forum offered stakeholders in the programme the opportunity to share experiences and exchange ideas on this year’s theme, "The Implication of the Church in the Identification of Professional Training and the Insertion of Youths to Long Lasting Jobs". Experts from other countries including DR Congo, Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Benin and Germany, who have participated in similar programmes, also attended the Yaounde forum.

Presiding over the opening ceremony, the Minister of Employment and Professional Training, Zachary Perevet, lauded the partnership and collaboration between the state and the Council of Protestant Churches in Cameroon. He reminded CEPCA that the very first professional schools in Cameroon (the Center for Professional Training in Ndoungue in 1922 and the Teachers Training College in Foulassi in 1925) were created by the church.

He promised the total support of the Cameroonian government to CEPCA’s job-creation initiative, adding that his ministry will provide the necessary expertise and technicians.
In an earlier speech, the President of CEPCA and the Organisation of Private Protestant Education, OEPP, Rev. Robert Goyek Daga, thanked the government for its constant support. He lauded the partnership between CEPCA and the Agency of Protestant Churches for Development in Germany, EED in favour of projects and programmes for the training and development of the Cameroonian youths.

He cited the Superior Pedagogic Institute (ISP/IPSOM) in Mbouo-Bandjoun, the construction, finalization and equipment of the Evangelical Church of Cameroon’s School in Mballa V-Yaounde, the In-Service Training Programmes (ISTP) of PCC and CBC institutions, Protestant College of the North in Garoua, as fruits of this win-win partnership.

He thanked two German experts, Christian Gret and Jacob Sovoessi for the work they carried out both in the pedagogic training of the youths as well as for their facilitation in the organisation of FESIP 2010. The National Secretary of CEPCA, Rev. Henri Buma Foncham Fomuso, said it is better to teach the youth to fish, than give them fish. He said the fundamental and historical principles of the engagement of the churches in the professional training of the youth to sustainable jobs cannot be undermined.

The Secretary General of CEPCA, Rev. Jean Emile Ngue, drawing inspiration from John 20 – 1 in a soul touching meditation, said that the church has as an obligation to train good Christians who will in turn become good citizens. He declared that professional training is the best thing that can give to Cameroon today.

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