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Future leaders of a “Miracle on the White Nile River”

● Hanbit Unit in South Sudan: ‘Hanbit Vocational School’ has its tenth trainees


41 persons entered the school 24 weeks of education until next February  
260 applicants to the school highest competition rate so far

Hanbit Vocational School put so much work into selecting female trainees to ‘join gender equality’

 Close to guaranteed employment: Over 85% of trainees who completed the training hired

Tuition is free and a certificate is issued to trainees who complete the training

UNDP raved about the school: “A successful human resource training model”



The Hanbit Unit’s “Hanbit Vocational School,” which has been favorably received by some South Sudan residents for giving them the power to help themselves and a new motivation to live, welcomed its tenth class. “With the goal of training the future leaders who will reconstruct South Sudan, we recently held an entrance ceremony for the Hanbit Vocational School’s tenth class of trainees,” Hanbit Unit announced on September 2. Members of The Hanbit Unit including Colonel Choi Jae-young, deputy commander of Hanbit Unit, and families of the trainees attended the entrance ceremony to celebrate a glorious start for the 41 new trainees.


Learning advanced technologies, such as woodworking, electrical works, breadmaking, and farming


The trainees who entered the Hanbit Vocational School will learn advanced technologies in a wide range of areas, such as woodworking, electrical works, welding, breadmaking, and farming, from the seven professional instructors belonging to the Hanbit Unit, including Chief of the Civil Military Cooperation Team Major Kim Hyo-sik. The Hanbit Vocational School has been run by the Unit as a part of the civil-military operations since 2015, and has been favorably reviewed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) as a “successful human resource training model for South Sudan.” The Unit founded a vocational school to promote regional reconstruction and development by training professional personnel in South Sudan, which was devastated by a long period of civil war. Providing the residents of South Sudan with something that goes beyond simple economic support and gives them the power to help themselves, the Hanbit Vocational School has produced a total of 552 trainees who completed the training in the last four years.


Medical assistance for those who rejected from the tenth class due to epidemic diseases


 The tenth class of trainees will start on a 24-week training course that continues until next February. According to the Unit, 260 persons applied for six courses, and were screened through a series of oral interviews for trainees that were held last month, which at four to one is the highest competition rate the class has seen in its history. The Unit selected the final trainees after background checks and a physical checkup. In this class, care was taken to select more female trainees in order to promote gender equality and the expansion of women’s advancement in society, priorities for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). As a result, eight female trainees were selected for two courses.


The Unit also showed consideration for those who were rejected from the tenth class. For candidates who were rejected due to infection with epidemic diseases such as malaria and syphilis, the Unit provided them with medical treatment and medicines. The Unit also plans to add points if they apply for the eleventh class.


 100% employment rate in electrical and construction work


Starting with basic theoretical education, the 41 trainees finally selected will receive job training in various areas, such as electrical and welding work, woodworking and the production of architectural works, a breadmaking contest, and crop production. The expertise of the instructors who will train them will be ensured by giving them eight weeks of in-depth professional education before their deployment. “I will hand down all of the skills and know-how that I learned in Republic of Korea, to provide practical help that will support the lives of these trainees,” said Sergeant Choi Seong-yeon, who is in charge of the welding course.


South Sudan residents call the Hanbit Vocational School a path to a “guaranteed job.” This is because more than 85% of the trainees who have previously completed the training have advanced into related areas and are playing an active role as pillars of industry throughout South Sudan. The school takes pride in its 100% employment rate for graduates, particularly in the electrical and construction areas. “Institutions acknowledge that the trainees who completed the Hanbit Vocational School have skills. The idea that trainees who complete the training can get a decent job and make a better living with a guaranteed income has spread virally, and the number of applicants has been increasing rapidly,” said an official from the Unit.


Excellent trainees given a trip to Korea as a benefit


It is not easy to learn professional skills in South Sudan, a country severely lacking in basic infrastructures. Those who want to learn skills need to go to Juba, the capital city of South Sudan, or neighboring countries, such as Kenya and Uganda, for training, but the reality is that the dire circumstances of most do not allow them to even think about it. On the other hand, the Hanbit Vocational School carries out free education, and trainees who complete the training are given certificates that are accepted by the Ministry of Labor of South Sudan and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Jonglei State. The certificate is a great help in getting a job. In addition, excellent trainees are given a visit to Korea as a benefit (covered in Kookbangilbo on July 22). For this reason, people who are in a range of situations, including one candidate who walked for over three hours from Bor, which is 10㎞ away from the school; one candidate who was trying again even after being rejected three times; and one candidate who needed the vocational school as a single mother of a young child after losing her husband, are knocking on the door of the school.


Considering all of this, the pleasure that the trainees who enter the school after this fierce competition feel is on another level. William Tudiyot (age 19), who is the youngest of the tenth class trainees and the only female trainee in the electrical course, delivered her impressions. “I am so pleased and happy to be selected as a student of the Hanbit Vocational School. By working hard for this education, I hope to help out with the development of my country.”


“Blessing in my life” - Increase in success stories

As time passes, the number of success stories coming from the Hanbit Vocational School is increasing. Some examples include Malyuet Deng March, Awer Dou Akuyen, and Manyok Abraham Mabil who are all now working for the school. They have been working as a manager, an interpreter, and an agriculture instructor after completing the training. “The agricultural technology that I learned from the Hanbit Vocational School has made my life better. It is a blessing in my life,” said Manyok, who is working as an agriculture instructor after specializing in agronomy at John Garang University in South Sudan, and completed the first class of the Hanbit Vocational School.


Cradle of human resource training to rebuild the country


 The Hanbit Vocational School has been considered as an advance guard for educating the South Sudan people and developing the country in the long term. The UNDP, which aims to operate vocational schools throughout South Sudan, sees the Hanbit Vocational School as a pioneering role model. Most of all, the UNDP thinks the Hanbit Unit’s education philosophy, in which students are trained in one class without being divided according to tribe, is solving the deep-rooted conflicts among tribes. “The Hanbit Vocational School is a milestone for the UN and for South Sudan,” said Said Tarek, a representative from UNDP in Bor, stressing “More vocational schools that benchmark the Hanbit Vocational School should be built in order to ensure human infrastructure in South Sudan.”


Due to a prolonged civil war and conflicts among tribes, over 90% of the people of South Sudan are living in poverty. In South Sudan, the Hanbit Vocational School serves as a cradle for training the human resources that are needed to rebuild the country. This helps achieve the ultimate goal of the UNMISS, which is South Sudan’s self-reliance.


 “I hope the trainees of the Hanbit Vocational School can take a leading role in achieving a ‘Miracle on the White Nile River,’” commented Choi Jae-young, Vice Commander of the Hanbit Unit.

By Su-Yeol, Maeng < >
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