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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Vocational Training

16TH January 2013

For many months you've heard about our vocational training sponsorship program, you've listened to our pleas for support and I’m pretty sure you've read it in every news letter; today we went to see some of the adolescents at work. In the morning we visited 9 boys, each boy is aged between 14 and 18 and they are all training to become carpenters.  Not only are these boys working long hours at the carpentry shop but almost all of them are also attending night school so that they can finish grade 12.

The adolescents must meet a certain criteria to be accepted onto the vocational training program. Many have lived on the street, or are living in dire poverty.  Once they are accepted onto the program they begin their training. The youth center is connected with a number of different businesses in Dire Dawa and the owners have agreed to train the boys and girls in a particular skill. Lucky for us we got to meet most of the owners where the boys are training and they were very proud to show us the work that the boys have done.  We met Sammy; he is the first business man to take on any trainees. At the moment he has 5 boys training at his shop, he also provides them with accommodation and a small salary. He said he is honoured to be part of the program and is hoping to help many more boys get their training. (Watch this space for a blog all about Sammy and the boys)

In the afternoon, we met some of the girls who have finished their hair dressing training. They told us about their training and how it has made a difference in their lives. Most of the girls finished school at grade 10 (the final grade is 12) so they were unable to attend college, or the official training.  Liyuwork was one if the first girls to graduate, she has a two year old son and is the only person in her family earning a salary. She has worked in a number of hair dressing salons doing Shuruba (braids), she could never afford to go to hair dressing school. Through the program, she has received her training and has a good job and is now able to provide for her son and her family.

Today, we got a great insight into how the vocational training program works. It was amazing to meet the adolescents that are on the program and also see where they work.  Our goal is to get all the children sponsored this year, for more information visit

Tomorrow we are going out into the Gende Tesfa community and visiting the homes of many of the children, then the biggest decision of the week needs to be made...what colour will we paint the youth center..Suggestions welcome J

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