This past month another 15 students graduated with new skills in tailoring and carpentry that will allow them a bright future of independence and hope. In 2018 when Y-Malawi launched the new Vocational Training Center, we never dreamed it would become such an important part of the community. We knew we would be preparing students for a career, but we had no idea that the community itself would take so much pride and ownership in the development of the center. That’s exactly what happened.
This new center is providing training in tailoring, carpentry, tin work, tie dye, and jewelry making. It has also become a community meeting place. Chiefs and other official hold meetings there. Youth and churches hold training sessions, and share important information there. Not a day goes by that there is not some community activity taking place at the center. We could not have imagined this would happen, but we are elated that it did.
As a result, two new buildings have now been added simply because so much space was being used for things other than vocational training. A new building is going up to house the tailoring skills program. Another new building is being constructed to house a new program of tin work where students will learn how to make water buckets, window frames, and other necessity items.
Soon we hope to raise enough money to add piped water at the facility. This will allow for new skills programs such as salon services and even food service. We will also be opening a Vocational Training Center Store. In this store dresses, uniforms, computer bags, jewelry, backpacks, sanitary kits for women, tie dye clothing, and lots of other items made by students will be sold to travelers, and locals. We even have plans to open an on-line store so that anyone anywhere can have access to these goods.
When we started, we had no idea where God would take this. We quickly found out He has big plans. Watch for more announcements as we grow together with the community. It’s going to be an exciting adventure!