This coming Fall, we will be opening our new Vocational School!
We recently posted a blog post this summer from Jonathan Carral, an intern with us from Columbia University, who received a grant this year for the construction of a Vocational School for our Freedom Boys out in the village of Kalembe.
For those who aren’t familiar with our Freedom Boys, they’re an incredible group of young men who have either been in the army or have a high risk of joining/being recruited into the army. We’ve been working with them for a couple of years and have seen amazing growth in them through education, sports and our mentoring program. They feel like different boys from the ones we first met on the soccer field that first day.
Recently one of our boys named Joseph came up to us and asked our director “Sandra, school is good for some. But for some of us… it has been too much time out of the classroom. Is there another way we can be trained for work so we can make a good and honest living?”
Their hearts are so pure and we could not be more proud of each of them. We knew we had to create an opportunity for these boys.
Later in a “family meeting” we couldn’t hold it in any longer— “We’re building a Vocational Center right now!! Anyone who wants to can begin training this fall!!”
Cheers and applause rang out from our 50+ boys as massive smiles spread across their faces.
Through this opportunity any of our boys can complete the one year training and be empowered with tools (literally) to advance their life and their community without the use of violence.
The construction was completed with the help of Innocent Voices who also partnered with us for the tools, equipment and final touches on the center.
The center went up fast as we worked hard to get it done for the fall classes opening soon. Here are some of the pictures of our newly built Vocational School!