Education and Vocational Training
Around May of 2019 Brother's Keeper kick started their vocational and education training center. Asante hand picked 20 young men who were living on the streets of Blantyre to participate in our first training program. They gathered daily for 3 months. Our faithful volunteer Limbani helped these boys catch up on basic education they have lost through their life of surviving on the streets. They learned how to read and write. Mr. Limbani and Pastor Asante discipled and mentored these boys, showing them they are not forgotten, but loved by a great Creator. During this phase of our program, we learned that many boys were absent throughout the week because they were out on the streets looking for food.
In September we gathered together again with new heart and vision to serve these youth in a greater capacity. As we had learned vital lessons in our first trial program, we were equipped with a better strategy. We raised funds to be able to provide one meal a day for these boys so that their stomachs could be full as they sat in class. Our plan to use cane as an income generator was put in to practice. The boys started with making trashcans and slowly increased their skills. These trashcans were able to make a small profit for them. Greatest of all is that these young men know they are loved, that they have a safe place to find refuge, and that there are good souls in Blantyre looking out for them.
We have been on holiday for the last month as we regroup as a leadership team to plan, strategize and look forward to how we can better serve this portion of society. While we have been on holidays, the young men have gathered together with their increased confidence and identity and have gone to the local chief of Bayani to ask for a space to build a small house. The chief granted them a space, and they now are building bricks to build their own home so they no longer have to find a place to sleep every night in Blantyre.
Stay tuned to hear how our next quarter goes!