Southern Africa has the extraordinary situation of both a major skills shortage and high levels of unemployment. With unemployment being one of the major causes of poverty. Yet without possessing the necessary skills required to work, people are unable to break the cycle and earn themselves a living. To help combat this Breadline Africa launched Cans4Skills as part of our container projects.
This programme sees old shipping containers converted into fully equipped mobile classrooms which are used to teach vocational skills such as plumbing and bricklaying. These classrooms can be moved around and taken into informal settlements where we are able to work with the poorest, most disadvantaged and marginalised members of society.
We recently upgraded and expanded this programme by partnering with a local technical college called Boland College which supplied the venue and trainers and the local Worcester municipality which supplied the food.
At the end of the training each student is provided with a certificate of merit as well as a toolkit containing basic tools for plumbing or bricklaying.
On 9 June 2011, excited families, nervously smiling candidates and some very proud Breadline Africa staff attended a very special occasion: the graduation ceremony for twenty-five students who attended our Cans4Skills programme in the Boland area. There were lumps in a lot of throats as the certificates were handed out to thirteen newly skilled bricklayers and twelve brand-new plumbers. They also each received a fully kitted-out toolbox to help them launch their new careers – thanks to your generosity.
In these times of unemployment and need for skilled artisans, this project throws a lifeline to those desperate for a chance to support their families and improve their communities. It’s hard to describe just how priceless the gift is that YOU have given these people – the ability to put food on the family table.
Meet some of the graduates! This is what they have to say: