My wife, Gill, and I are currently in Kisumu visiting the Paluoc training workshop on a daily basis. We are trying to give Paul and his band of helpers some assistance in recruiting and retaining carpentry trainees. The problem is mostly a boy thing - most young girls seem to enrol in appropriate training courses and stick to them. For the boys there is the appeal of a job on a boda-boda bicycle with a passenger seat for a paying customer. For this there is an instant Ks100 a day (about $1 or less than £1), sometimes more whilst your legs hold out! For others the alternative is a bag of shoe glue to sniff to take your problems away. Some just hang around and idle their time away.
Paluoc offers free training in carpentry skills that can earn a youngster a decent living throughout their life. The free part is important because many have left school early because they can't afford to continue, and they don't have any money for any other sort of training either.
They have been given hand tools from generous UK charities and they are learning to use them. Paluoc is just about to invest, through a grant from another British charity, in an electric planer and power saw. This helps with their own needs and also provides a source of income planing wood for other users.
The trainees are often orphans or partially orphaned. Paluoc tries to offer trainees a small snack at lunchtime and would like to be able to make a small, very small, but hopefully effective payment to lure them away from street corners and give them a bit of street cred for going into training.
Sadly with all of the other costs for the building, the timber, a small salary for the trainer, and especially the exam. fees; even with a bit of sponsorship from some Hands Around The World supporters the sums just do not add up.
The long term hope is to be self-sustaining and they are working towards it but in the meantime they need help to establish themselves so that they can offer good training and a bit of street cred too.
With a number of others, my wife and I helped to build the workshop. It is a great joy to stand just outside it and hear the hammering and banging going on in every available space inside, and to see the youngsters' growing skills and confidence.
They just need a bit of help
$15 would buy some training materials
$30 would provide some timber with which to work
$45 would pay the exam fees for one trainee
$75 would provide lunch every day of the year for one trainee
$180 would sponsor a youngster for a year at the workshop
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