UNHCR, Rhema Care empowers 174 Bakassi IDPs with N50,000 each and more
Rhema Care Integrated Development Centre, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), in collaboration with the Cross River State Government (CRSG) and United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has empowered 174 households of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the two camps in Bakassi withe N50,000 each as capacity building in addition to the training in various skill acquisition.
The ceremony took place at the government secondary school, Akwa Ikot Eyo Edem camp in Akpabuyo Local Government Area.
The project which is funded by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) witnessed the registration of the people for their national identity cards by the National Identity Management Commission, as well as birth registration for the babies by the National Population Commission.
Speaking at the ceremony the Executive Director, Rhema Care Integrated Development Centre, Mrs Kelechi Okoroji-Ejemson, said out of the174, 25 members of the host community in Akpabuyo also benefited from the conditional cash transfer to encourage peaceful co-existemce in the area.
Okoroji-Ejemson said, “Our relationship with the Bakassi IDPs dates back to 2013 when we brought the National Commission for Refugees to do a needs assessment here. From there we have been intervening with the people . We also take care of host community because they have been faithful to host the IDPs. So for peaceful coexistence, we have to carry them along.
“What we want to see is that at some point, every displaced Bakassi person has a means of livelihood. That is the vision for us. For this year we are doing a transfer for 174 people. Our dream for the Bakassi people is to see that we achieve durable solution. For us, we have put forward the issues of shelter, livelihood, education for the people.”
She lauded the UNHCR and the CRSG who through its agencies have supported this agenda.
She declared, “What we are doing is like lighting a candle to help us quench the darkness of poverty and fear. We beg all beneficiaries to maximize the use of this money. It is not for you to pay back. But please invest it for your families and benefit of humanity. We want things to change for the Bakassi people”.
Earlier, the state co-ordinator, Rhema Care, Mr Lucky Ajuzie, said the money was meant for the beneficiaries to invest in farming and business to be able to provide for their households.
Rhema Care, he added, “Is a faith based, pro-poor, not for profit, non governmental development organization established as a direct social response to the challenges of poverty, illiteracy, diseases, discrimination, conflicts, disasters and lack of opportunities plaguing the developing world in general and Africa in particular.
“We are committed to the vision of an equitable society with socially transformed, economically empowered and environmentally sustainable communities in Africa, where everyone has the opportunity to experience care, peace, dignity and good quality of life”.
In his remarks, the Camp leader, Mr Etim Okon Ene, said Rhema Care had been assisting them in the past.
“They have trained us on various sources of livelihood like hairdressing, soap making, and livestock farming among others.
“With this fund, the people would able to go fully into livestock farming and other businesses. As they collect this money, we will try to ensure it is well invested so they can be developed for their benefit and the benefit of everyone”, Ene said.
One of the beneficiaries of the programme, Mrs. Bassey Bassey Ita, commended the NGO, the state government as well as the UNHCR for coming to assist the Bakassi Internally Displaced Persons.
She promised to make judicious use of the funds as she hopes to go into full scale farming of yam and cassava planting.
Permanent secretary, Ministry of International Development Corporation who represented the state government, Mr Gabriel Akpeke, said government is committed to the welfare of the IDPs.
He urged the beneficiaries to be cooperative, and ensure that the money they received is properly invested.