At PALUOC workshop, we took some days off from 22nd December to 4th January. Most of the students are back and I am looking forward to receiving more students this year.
Last year was a good year. I worked very closely with the three candidates towards their exam that was done in December. It was nice to present two ladies in the government test as this is very rare. According to me, they did their best though all is now left in the hands of the examiner.
I am looking forward to this year as I now have four categories of trainees. Bonaventure’s group who can now do most things on their own, the group that has just done their exam, the group that joined towards the end of last year and finally the new recruits this year. I enjoy working with these students, starting from the level of identifying tools to the level which one is now able to make an item.
I would want to thank you very much for the support and encouragement which Hands Around The World sponsors have offered PALUOC carpentry training and made it possible for me to be able to transform the lives of these young people in Kisumu.
Thank you very much and pass my greetings to your family and supporters.
Some long time friends of HATW recently visited Paluoc training workshop. For this update I have included some extracts from their feedback;
“Our reunion with Paul was lovely – he was as we remembered him, quiet, sincere, knowledgeable. He is very committed to his training programme, his workshop and more especially, his trainees. He was pleased to show us around, to explain his policy and plans, to introduce the trainees and even teach Jeff a carpentry technique that was new to him!”
“There are currently 10 students on role; Bonaventure, Steven J, Kennedy, Maureen, Jacqueline, Walter, Charles, Steven, Daniel, Caleb…… Jacqueline has a child and is expecting another and in consequence is rather an unreliable student. Maureen, Jacqueline and Walter are entered for this year’s exams”
“Daniel and Steven J, who are orphans are living on site and are proving to be very responsible caretakers”
“Bonaventure has been at the centre 4 years and lives locally – he is very trustworthy and now acting as Paul’s assistant.”
“Paul gives the trainees dinner money on a daily basis as he finds this ensures they are fed, don’t take too long for lunch and use the money for it’s intended purpose!”
“All the hand tools are sharpened personally by Paul as he doesn’t want the students working with second grade tools. They have a well thought out security system whereby the students have all made their own tool boxes which live in one of three secure cupboards - once unlocked the students are responsible for the good order of their tool kit. Each student takes it in turns to be responsible for the workshop for a day – tidiness, security etc – but they seem reluctant to take this on!”
I hope that these extracts give a flavour of the workshop. Paul sets high standards and is giving these youngsters a good opportunity to gain experience and skills that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. They continue to need a bit of support but are slowly working towards self-sufficiency.
Christmas is here again, it seems only yesterday that we put the decorations away!
My friends in Siriba, Uganda have no idea what an English Christmas is like. But have we gone right off the rails?
My friends send me emails and despite the cost, often phone me with their Christmas greetings. It means so much to them that we are happy at this very special time. For them, family unity is paramount. They hear that I have been Christmas shopping and have sent them basic clothes for their little children; the excitement is unbelieveable!
Yet here, many of our large stores, run by "pillars of society” have been selling Christmas extravaganza since September, so that we, should we choose, can get into the modern spirit!!!
In remote parts of Uganda, and indeed many other parts of this troubled world, there will be no glitter or extravagance. There will be the simplest of presents, if any at all. Not surprisingly, as last week and the week before, churches will be full. There is no English Heritage to fix the roof, it just gets done by the congregation!
To these people it is wonderful for them to know that Christ Jesus was born in a stable and died on the cross to redeem mankind, to save us all from our sins because of His love for us.
Have we forgotten this as we remember supermarkets full of glitter in September? Think of our friends at the vocational training centre, Siriba, Kiryadongo District.
Let us pray that the real spirit of Christmas can fully unite us.