Muhammad Tariq, a beneficiary of the training provided by IOM.

PESHAWAR: IOM is providing skills development trainings  to Afghan Citizen Card holders in a programme that aims to generate income and employment opportunities while residing in host communities as well as in case of return to Afghanistan.

With financial support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Government of Australia and in collaboration with Chief Commissionerate of Afghan Refugees (CCAR) at the federal level and the Commissionerate of Afghan Refugees (CAR) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, IOM’s Business and Skills Development component of the Programme, which initiated in 2018 has since supported 36 Afghan Citizen Card holders.

Trainings combine practical and theoretical sessions on various skill sets to enable them to understand the different techniques and be able to generate income upon completion of these trainings.

For the recent round of trainings that was concluded on 31 July 2019, most beneficiaries opted for trainings related to tailoring, embroidery, and mobile repairs engaging a total of 16 participants, mainly from district Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The selection criteria for this round was based on the community’s need to provide support to the most vulnerable population that were physically challenged. In this context, 10 females participated in the tailoring course while 6 males participated in the mobile repair training.

Subsequently, IOM aims to train an additional 1,000 Afghan Citizen Card holders inclusive of 30% beneficiaries from the host population to enable them to start sustainable income generation ventures through various trainings including midwifery/health, mobile repair, auto electrician, beauticians and auto car/motor bike repair.

Ms. Asma Kashif, National Operations Officer – IOM Pakistan said, ‘I am very impressed by the determination and accomplishments of the trainees I have met today. The Australian Aid identifiers are proud to support these young women and men in developing skills that will help them build a more secure future for themselves and their families.’

Fazl E Rabbi, Director CAR KP said, ‘Over the course of two years, IOM with support from the Government of Australia has trained a number of Afghan Citizen Card holders. The programme has enabled these individuals to secure income generation opportunities and has also provided them the necessary tools to continue their work.’

Mr. Siddique Khan, Director Administration of CAR KP quoted, ‘It has been a pleasure to facilitate IOM in delivering the Skills Development training programme, particularly because Afghan Citizen Card holders are often not considered to receive any kind of assistance because of their status. These trainings have made significant impacts in their lives with many of them already able to financially support their families.’

Sharing his experience from the training, Muhammad Tariq, an ACC holder said, ‘I am grateful to IOM for selecting me for the Mobile Repair Training Programme. Before the training started, I would spend most of my time in search of different ways to earn a livelihood for my family, but because I was not skilled there were very limited opportunities. I feel proud that I have learnt how to repair mobile phones and while I was still enrolled in the training, I was approached by people from the neighborhood who would ask me to repair their phones and by doing so I earned some income. Now I plan to set up my own mobile repairing shop as not only have I been provided with the knowledge but also necessary tools and equipment to start my own business and support my family.’