This is a Tax Deductible OARF project
A dream was realised as all 14 students gathered one Thursday in April to graduate from our vocational program. The ceremony was made all the more significant as many of the students had not finished high school. Tertiary study had never been an option for them and their opportunities were limited. But now, some of our Vocational Training School (VTS) graduates are employed—one in a local bakery, one in a restaurant, and one in a kitchen. One has even started his own doughnut business!
This program is designed for youth who have dropped out of school or who are from poor or underprivileged backgrounds. The vocational training school runs two courses: baking and basic mechanics classes. Our first course in 2012 began with four young women and one young man doing baking, and nine young men enrolled in the basic mechanics class. As well as teaching mechanics and baking skills, students have daily teaching and discussions on life skills. It is exciting to work with these young people, as they are very enthusiastic.
Over the past six years we have seen many students graduate from our school. We now also offer Advanced Mechanics & Driving; Advanced Baking & Catering, and Welding/Metal work classes. The purchase of a large generator and a diesel engine has made a big difference to the teaching we can provide for the mechanics class.
VTS staff have also undertaken training to learn how to support traumatised children and youth within this area of Uganda. We have found that our students often need more than just work skills to help them move forward in their lives. Since the training our staff are better equipped to assist the students who attend the school with emotional healing and empowerment to succeed.