Projects

Lubwe Youth Skills Training Centre - Building the Future

14/03/2010

As long ago as early 2007 the Management Committee led by Julius Musamba began planning for the future. We need to secure the future of the Skills Centre whilst it builds up to self sufficiency, to keep its teachers, to pay its costs, to ensure that future. Mike & I have undertaken to provide funding until at least the end of 2011, and I am committed to raise £20,000 a year for the next two years in order to do this.

A massive task, but with help, I know it’s possible. There is over £5000 a year committed so far by regular supporters. Please, please - help if you can.

Currently the Lubwe Youth Skills Centre is housed in leased buildings. The first of these must be vacated in around June of 2010, only a few month away. On the very positive side, a grant of £4000 pounds from the Government for a new building to replace the temporarily leased workshop has been given. The land needed for it was granted by the village Chiefs without cost, for the permanent use of the community.

By mid Sept 2008, all the main trench foundations had been dug, the footings built and the 60ft x 30ft base laid ready for concreting. The bricks from the local kiln were ready and further funding was applied for, but not received. We had to help. Construction of the building itself is a great training project for the Students, and their efforts build a future for those who follow them. Below are more pictures of the development up to Sept 2009 last year, at the start of the Rainy Season in October - earlier than normal. It will last through to March (when I am writing this).

One project that has excited Patrick Strauss, our volunteer in Lubwe at the moment, is a lend/purchase program that had been talked about for a while. We are lending, tools, sewing machines, supplies, etc. to any graduate that passes through the program so he or she can use them to work. Over the following year, they pay back into the school for their tools, and that money is used to purchase tools for the next graduating class.

So far the women who have taken out loans are doing extremely well. Every single one has been on time with their payments and a few are close to finishing their payments in only 3 months, meaning they are making 2, 3 or even 4 payments a month. A few of them have set up a Co-op and were commissioned last year by the area schools to make all of the uniforms for the current school year, which begins each January.

The men are slower, but such is the way in Africa. I don’t kid myself we can change the world but we can make a difference in Lubwe – after all, look what has been achieved already.

 

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