Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu

by HANDS AROUND THE WORLD
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Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu
Helping young Kenyans survive and thrive in Kisumu

Thank you so much for your support for Paluoc carpentry workshop in Kenya. It is with regret that from January we will no longer be sending funds to this project. Sadly, Paluoc has struggled to recruit and retain trainees and there are currently so few attending regularly that we are left with no choice.

Some hope was offered through a new government policy aiming at 100% transition to high school in Kenya. In addition, through another initiative, young people will be granted a small bursary in order to access training programmes offering technical skills. Paluoc applied to become a government approved partner for this programme, but unfortunately they were unsuccessful.

Despite challenges, Paluoc has nonetheless achieved various successes over the years in large part thanks to the tireless support of Nigel and other volunteers and thanks also to your constant support. Whilst numbers of trainees have never been as high as initially hoped, many young people have benefitted enormously from the project. They have enjoyed being part of a team, they have developed skills, confidence and networks and gained qualifications and ultimately they have been able to build sustainable livelihoods. Thank you for the part you have played in making this happen.

Centre manager, Paul Ochieng, will continue to run the workshop and support the remaining trainees. HATW will maintain contact with the project and an open door for partnership working if they are able to turn things around and bring in some new trainees.

We would be incredibly grateful if you would consider continuing to support the work of HATW. For example, we partner with a vocational training centre in Zambia, Kaliyangile, which offers training in beekeeping, carpentry, tailoring, knitting, computing and literacy and also runs an agricultural programme to generate income for the project.

Thank you once again for all your support.

Bridget

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There may be challenges ahead for Paluoc finding its place in light of changes afoot in Kenya. The Kenyan government is implementing a policy aiming at 100% transition to High School. This could result in difficulties recruiting new trainees. On the other hand, there may be an opportunity as the government is also rolling out a training programme for young people to learn technical skills and are looking to partner with established training providers.

At Paluoc, trainees benefit from the skills and experience gained through the training as well as the income they are able to earn by helping with production at the workshop. The plan is to make production a key activity that runs concurrently with the training so that students do their practical lessons as they participate in production.

Focussing on paid work not only helps trainees to earn some income, but also supports the centre to become self-sustaining.

Thank you as always for supporting this project

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The two latest trainees to pass their Carpentry Examination Grade III, and proudly showing off their certificates are Kevin and Frederick. They have both been attending the workshop for about 12 months. To take the examination is quite costly by Kenyan standards (about £30) and can only be taken at approved Government assessment centres. It is important that they pass. They need financial help from HATW or other donors to make it possible.

Both Kevin and Frederick (see photos below) are capable young men who have missed out on previous opportunities to obtain some qualifications, so all credit to them for sticking to the course, applying themselves and acquiring skills which we hope will ensure rewarding long term employment for themselves. 

Both are currently choosing to stay on at Paluoc to gain additional skills and when available to carry out some paid work to gain an income for themselves and valuable experience of working for a paying customer. 

Fred is a football fan, and a keen supporter of Manchester United - we all have our crosses to bear!

Another of the previous trainees, Stephen, has become very adept at using the router that we supplied them with. Now that they’ve passed Grade III Fred and Kevin will be able to move on to using power tools, like a router, more. We have always tried to encourage this as it’s clearly the way to produce a better standard of work and a higher income in the future.

Good luck to them!

Kevin with his Grade 3 Carpentry certificate
Kevin with his Grade 3 Carpentry certificate
Frederick with his Grade 3 Carpentry certificate
Frederick with his Grade 3 Carpentry certificate
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Paul and his trainees have managed to obtain some paid work making Nursery Tables. In the picture above, one of the trainees (Kennedy) is working on the table legs. In the picture below, you can see another trainee, Steven, painting the table tops. They’ll be drying quickly with daytime temperatures up at 30°+.

In the meantime, the production of lockers continues. Below you can see Kennedy varnishing them.

The workshop has a “long drop” toilet for use by the trainees as well as by Steven who lives onsite as the caretaker/nightwatchman. It’s a tight squeeze getting the truck in to empty the toilet once every few years, but it’s a very necessary job and another expense for the workshop to meet.

In the picture below, you can see that Kennedy has got his bike out of the way so that it’s not damaged. He travels 5 miles each day each way on that bike and without it he would have to go back to walking.

Steven painting the table tops
Steven painting the table tops
Kennedy varnishing the lockers
Kennedy varnishing the lockers
Emptying the 'long drop' toilet
Emptying the 'long drop' toilet
Kennedy's bike saves him a 5 mile walk each day
Kennedy's bike saves him a 5 mile walk each day
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Samson recently returned to Paluoc
Samson recently returned to Paluoc

Our carpentry workshop gives disadvantaged youngsters who for a variety of reasons have failed elsewhere a chance to learn a valuable trade to earn money for themselves and their families. Last year was a particularly difficult year due to the illness and sad death of Lucy, the wife of Paul (centre manager and chief instructor). The workshop was sustained by help from friends, helpers, past trainees, and some small financial help from HATW.

The year ended with a Xmas party funded by HATW for the current and some former trainees. 2019 starts optimistically with a new, we hope more proactive, Board of Trustees and with some new trainees. We hope that with their help the workshop will be self-sustaining or largely so by the end of 2020.

Kevin and Godfrey (pictured below) are new trainees. Kevin is very enthusiastic and seems to have a keen interest in finding out how to use new machines and has a knack for problem solving. An initial problem for him was that he spoke little English or Luo, the languages used for instruction. As with many Africans the problem was not insurmountable, you just have to listen and learn a new language!

Samson (pictured above), was at the workshop before but left unexpectedly. Now he is back but that was only possible because Paul is providing him accommodation at Paluoc. He will live in the storage area next door to where Stephen, another trainee, currently lives. Let’s hope that that works out well. When asked what type of music they liked for the workshop most of the lads came up with South African rappers etc, Samson’s preference was for church choirs.

A couple of the more experienced trainees are allowed to work independently in the upstairs area. Whilst Paul was away they were also able to help the newer trainees a little.

The photos below show some of the varied activities that go on at the workshop, some for cash and some for training purposes.

Christmas party 2018
Christmas party 2018
The new Board of Trustees
The new Board of Trustees
Trainees Kevin and Godfrey
Trainees Kevin and Godfrey
More experienced trainees work independently
More experienced trainees work independently
Repairing a broken cupboard
Repairing a broken cupboard
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Organization Information

HANDS AROUND THE WORLD

Location: MONMOUTH, MONMOUTHSHIRE - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
David Steiner
Executive Officer
Monmouth, United Kingdom

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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