Thursday, June 11, 2009

Youth Vocational Training Center of Hope

Don’t you love the name!

Chad and I visited this school in a very poor village just outside of Kigali today. They have 90 students in two programs: Catering or Beauty Services. As you can see from the photos, the girls were weaving black extensions into my hair and polishing my nails.

I had a much more emotional response to this school because the Director is trying to do so much for these young people with very little money. Neither she nor her three teachers have been paid for the past few months to keep the school going. Coming off the trips to the Kibbutz and other privately funded schools with endowments of 10-20 million dollars, this one breaks your heart. I paid her what a manicure would have cost in the states ($20.00) and she said this would buy food for the practical cooking lessons for next week.

As always, Chad took lots of photos and had the students do a five minute video on his flip cam. We will write their story and send to KIVA to see if the students can receive loans to pay for the program. If each of the students could get a $25.00 loan, it would go a long way to sustainability for this wonderful program and they could pay them back when they got a job.

They receive a certificate after one year of classes and a 2 month internship. Since its inception, it has graduated one class and over 60% of the students received jobs and have come back to donate money to keep the school running. A testament to playing it forward...

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