By Ike Uchechukwu
A 54 year Cameroonian refugee, Samuel Ojong who was part of the over 200 persons sponsored and trained by the Community Refugee Relief Initiative, CRRI, has disclosed that he had no choice but to learn a new trade in a bid to feed his family and pay his bills since getting another job in Nigeria was very difficult.
Samuel told Vanguard at the weekend in Ogoja after he graduated from glass and Aluminum works that he left Cameroon with his six children and wife due to the crisis and could not continue his driving job here in Nigeria but needed a legitimate means of survival which was why he decided to become an aluminum works apprentice at his age .
His words :” I have a wife and six children ,there was no way we could survive on our stipends which was i decided to try something new in Nigeria that was legitimate too since I could not continue driving here .
“I was excited when CRRI gave me the opportunity to learn aluminum work ,I even pleaded with two of my sons to join me in the trade but they refused and went into ICT also sponsored by the Organization .
” At my age ,a lot of people would rather stick to what they know ,but I am a very versatile person both in thinking and practice ,I just had to try my hands on something new .
” Before we left Cameroon for Nigeria due to the crisis I was a driver over there ,but I didn’t want to continue with that , besides it’s a little difficult to get someone who can give you his vehicle here to drive especially because of “your status” , so I couldn’t wait when CRRI presented me with the opportunity .
“Today I can boldly say that my decision to learn aluminum works at age 54 is something I am greatful for because already I have started getting jobs after few weeks of training .I can pay bills and also take care if my family .
“I want to encourage anyone listening or reading that no matter their age ,they should never give on themselves ,they should always try new things as it can become a turning point in their lives.
“This opportunity is an experience I can never forget because when this crisis us over ,I will still make money from it ,” Ojong said