Hope for refugees in South Africa
Africa Unite gives hope to millions of Refugees
By Hassan Isilow
Africa Unite, a Cape Town based non-governmental organisation working to bring people of diverse backgrounds together, has pledged to continue advocating for the rights of refugees .
Ntombi Ntonyi, projects manager for the NGO, told Africa Witness that many refugees and asylum-seekers living in South Africa were skilled professionals , but could hardly find jobs.
She said the alarming levels of unemployment in the country, problems in transferring foreign credentials and lack of awareness amongst employers were some of the reasons why skilled migrants failed to get jobs.
“We have helped a lot of refugees/asylum seekers to get employment in our local schools as science and maths teachers. Our vision is to continue to help more refugees and South Africans from disadvantaged backgrounds,” Ntobi
told Africa witness in Cape Town.
She said her organisation aims to bring together young adults from diverse backgrounds and working to develop a shared culture of human rights which will help to discourage xenophobia in South Africa, promote education, leadership and peace. Ntonyi said they have come across a lot of professional refugees who hold degrees and masters degrees in engineering and sciences whom they helped link up with employers.
She said Africa Unite also helps none professional refugees with skills development and training among other activities.
In 2006 Africa Unite resolved a conflict between South African traders and Somali shopkeepers in Masiphumelele, Cape Town.
The traders then formed a single business forum. In September 2006, there was a new wave of attacks on Somali businesses in Masiphumelele, near Kommetjie. Somali shopkeepers fled the informal settlement after 27 Somali-owned shops were trashed in a string of attacks thought to have had their roots in xenophobia. But Africa Unite intervened together with the Western Cape Government and resolved the Issue.
click on the link below the video, to listen an audio interview between Hassan Isilow & and Africa Unite’s Ntombi.