UN High Commissioner for Refugees agency trains pupils to build society free of xenophobia
TO HELP promote the integration of refugees in South African society, the Agency for Refugee Education, Skills Training and Advocacy (Aresta) implemented workshops in a number of schools in East London, creating awareness of the need for social cohesion, peace and tolerance of diversity.
The training is much needed as cases of xenophobia are still being reported in the city and around South Africa.
Aresta, which is an agency of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), held a Peace Award Ceremony at the Methodist Church of South Africa in Duncan Village (KwaDlokweni) last Wednesday, where pupils from various schools were acknowledged for successfully completing the programme.
A number of pupils from Sinovuyo High, Ebenezer Majombozi High and Kusile Comprehensive School, attended the ceremony and received certificates.
Aresta assistant campaign manager, Sipiwe Sangqu, said the organisation helped contribute to the integration of refugees into South African society through its Workshop of Tolerance and Peace Ambassador Training programmes.
“The underlying aim is to build a society free from crime, racism, discrimination and xenophobia,” Sangqu said.
Its Peace Award Ceremony sought to raise awareness about the plight and rights of refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa.
It was also aimed at advocating social cohesion and peace-building in the Duncan Village community.
“In the following months, Aresta will be mentoring these Peace Ambassadors as they plan initiatives in their schools and communities.
“The Peace Ambassadors are planning a Big Walk against racism, discrimination and xenophobia in their community of Duncan Village in the following month [October],” Sangqu said.
During October, the East London Social Cohesion Office activities will include workshops of tolerance for school pupils and students, addressing the rights and plight of refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa.