17 Maasin youths undergo training on food processing PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 March 2011 14:32

Seventeen youths of Barangay Maasin benefited and successfully completed a two-week free training on fish processing called “Technology Based Community Skills Training” conducted by the Food Processor Association of Zamboanga (FPAZ).

The simple culmination program was held last Friday at the Maasin barangay hall where the each participant received a certificate of attendance.

Participants who are 18-years old and above now have a chance to get employed at Mega Sardines factory.

Edsel Acuña, president and Miguel “Mike” Alavar III, vice president of FPAZ,  disclosed that the free training on food processing is a continuous program of the association which started several years ago with the aim of sharing knowledge and skills to those who are interested to learn food processing for them to earn a living.

The recent trainings of the FPAZ were done in partnership with USAID, Save the Children Foundation, EQUALS, Alternative Learning System and the Department of Education.
Acuña said the training in Maasin was the 6th program of the FPAZ since they started it in the different barangays last year.

The 17 young people of Maasin, most of them out of school youths, were trained to make processed food fish like bottled sardines and rellenong bangus.

Alavar said that some of the trainers in Maasin were also graduates of the food processing program from Ayala and Recodo like Norajean Boniao, 16, and Jeffrey Riondon of Recodo.

Boniao in an interview said that because she was below 18 years old and she is not yet qualified to employ at the Mega Fishing Company, she decided to start with her own small business in which she applied all the knowledge she earned from the FPAZ free training on fish processing.

“I thank Mr. Alavar, Mr.Acuña and all the people behind FPAZ, USAIDS and our trainers for the skills they shared to me, I can use it for me to earn a living,” Boniao said.

“I and Edsel and other members of the FPAZ decided to come up with this kind of programs several years ago with one main objective which is to serve the youths and other people by extending free training on food processing for those who are interested to learn and at the same time they can use the skills to earn something for their families, and we have already done this program in the different barangays from east to west coast in the city,” Alavar said.

Maasin barangay chairman Misael “Doglo” Bernardo thanked the FPAZ under Alavar and Acuña, USAIDS, EQUALLS, Save the Children Foundation which was represented by Mr. Nathaniel Asuncion, who attended the culmination program of the fish processing training, for choosing their place to conduct the free training to the youths.

Alavar and Acuña said the first phase of the training was held in Sangali, Sta. Barbara and Tulungatung.

The second phase was conducted in Recodo, Ayala and most recent was the one in Maasin.
Alavar added that 480 out-of-school youths benefited from the training being offered by the FPAZ.
“Out of the free training program on food processing, the youths can be employed or they can start their own small livelihood,” Alavar added.      

Alavar and Acuña said they will continue with their mission to help and teach the people on such endeavor. — Dan Toribio Jr.