Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Guyana Part II

     In September, I  was at it again back with one of my favorite clients. They work all over the world dealing with healthcare issues, to education, disasters to daily life.

     In addition to assisting to the improvement of HIV/AIDS care, they are involved in a number of programs to help improve lives. When I share the work that they and similar clients do, it is sometimes a surprise at what form those projects actually take.

     The goal of vocational education projects is to teach students marketable skills that will help them to earn decent wages to take care of their families and keep a roof over their heads. In Guyana that goal takes the form of masonry and child care classes, computer skills and cake decorating.

     I can hear it now, "Seriously, cake decorating?"


      It is a skill that, like others, were requested in surveys of potential students in the communities. It is a skill that has as much value as carpentry and masonry.  (I promise to share my story about one such lady whose skill is in demand in her community, since she learned how to bake and decorate, but of course my client has to publish it first.) 

Meanwhile at the same facility students learn from a former superintendent of presidential building projects the foundation skills of carpentry and masonry, while others develop and sharpen their abilities in marketable crafts, computer operation, general cooking and nutrition and remedial education. As with all such vocational programs it gives some students a second chance and others just a chance at a reasonable living.