Vocational training responds to needs of communities

For the 12th year in a row ten young men and women followed the vocational training at the Eva Demaya Centre. In 3 to 6 months these young people are trained to become an independent professional tailor, tinsmith, bicycle repairman and carpenter.

The students are selected by the people in their own community. After the training they will return to their village to practice their new learned profession. This way a win-win situation is created: the young people have a good perspective to become economically independent as a professional worker and the community can profit from the services they offer.
After delivering their ‘masterpiece’ as proof of fitness, this year’s training was closed in November with an festive activity at the Centre. All participants receive a certificate which indicates they successfully followed the vocational programme at The Centre.
All students receive the coveted starters kit, which contains a basis set of tools and materials for their own discipline. This makes it possible to directly start their small business without the need for investing in inventory first.

The vocational program at the Centre ran its 12th year so up till now 120 young people has a solid foundation to develop themselves to become economically productive and independent but also to grow as a person. All these years the vocational program has been very succesfull and is very much appreciated by both the young people and the communities.
Expanding the program to train more people is not possible because the centre is limited to offer the young people housing during the program.
For next year’s vocational training a small change will be made in the selection and assignment criteria: the young men and women can freely choose the profession they feel fits them best, the traditional division in men’s and women’s jobs will be abandoned so Eva Demaya hopes to welcome the first female carpenter!

Vocational training successful

This year’s vocational training have been closed. The to-be-tailors who were introduced to the readers in the recent newsletter, now are graduated, just like the young man who followed the education programme to be a tinsmith, bicycle repairman and carpenter
On October 15th the Centre organized a festivity to honour the students, in the presence of a large group of people.

The vocational training is repeated yearly and is one of the pillars of the Eva Demaya Centre. The 10 youngsters – four ladies and 6 young men – stayed at the Centre for 6 month and followed a fully tended training programme. At the closing of the program and after some final exams, Jacqueline handed over their certificate of evidence.
An important reason for the successful proceedings of their study, is the gift of a toolkit they each receive. Every vocational has it’s own tools, like a sewing machine, scissors, a tape measure and other indispensable materials such as fabrics and thread for the tailor and a complete carpentry outset for the carpenters.
With the tools available, the young men and women can now directly start up their own small business in their own village.

This year’s students were highly motivated, because they know all too well that the vocational training offered new chances to all those who already had the opportunity to be in the program in the earlier years.
The Eva Demaya Centre wishes them lots of good luck and success with their new vocation and finding a new (business)life in their community.

Education for vulnerable young people

Lundu CDSS 2015 (2) (Large)Every year the Eva Demaya Centre supports 35 young people attending secondary school by paying their school fees.
There is always very high demand from the community for this financial support. Eva Demaya gives priority to vulnerable young people, of whom there are many, such as children who have lost one or both parents and children with physical disabilities. In order to be chosen for school fees support, pupils must demonstrate an appetite for hard work and must take his or her studies seriously.
Katowo girls hostel 2015 (4) (Large)
Recently there has been a move to give girls in particular greater access to secondary school education.
Girls, who often have to walk long distances to secondary schools, tend to drop out of the school system in greater numbers than boys. This is mainly because girls are needed to help at home, leaving little time for study; in addition, their long treks to and from school can be exhausting and sometimes dangerous.
Community schools are now trying to foster a greater spirit of belonging by building hostels that offer accommodation for students during the school year. For girls in particular this greatly increases the chancers of being able to complete their school education successfully.

The catchment area of the Eva Demaya Centre includes eight secondary schools and supported students are spread over all of these eight schools. This school year parents pay 55 Euros in school fees per child annually. It costs an additional 110 Euros to stay in the hostels. For many families – sometimes with more than one child – these are very large amounts.Up till now, the Centre has mainly supported students staying with their families.School fees 10 2014 (5) To increase the chances – especially for the girls – of getting a good education, Eva Demaya intends to start supporting selected pupils by also paying their hostel fees. Eva Demaya hopes for your financial support to make this possible and to help young people to work for a better future.

The photos show some of the young people who – with your help and the involvement of Eva Demaya – are being supported this year with their secondary education. Another photo shows one of the newly built hostels, where boys and girls can stay during term-time.

New start of vocational training courses

Tailoring girls (2) (Large)
The Eva Demaya Centre’s vocational training courses for orphaned young people started its 11th edition last June. Again, youngsters are educated to be a tailor (4 girls) or a carpenter, tin smith or bicycle repairman (2 boys each).
The ten young people come from the more remote area’s of the catchment area of the Eva Demaya Centre. Their chances for economic independency are substantially enhanced with these vocational courses.
This year some new instructors are responsible for the day to day training courses.
Leonard Mkhandawire is training in carpentry and Gibson Ngoma is learning his men the craft of tin smithing.
Chancy Chirambo is educating the girls in tailoring. Chancy herself was educated through the Eva Demaya vocational training courses for tailoring in 2004 and is now a very successful tailor.

The photos show the ladies working with patterns and colourful fabrics, and how the gentlemen work the wood to make new tables and chairs.

Vocational training 2015 (6) (Large) Vocational training 2015 (10) (Large)

10 Years vocational training courses

At the end of 2014 the 10th edition of the Eva Demaya Centre’s vocational training courses for orphaned young people was closed with a festive graduation.
Again 10 youngsters who had no future perspective because of the loss of their parents, now are educated in to be a tailor, carpenter, tin smith or bicycle repairman.
Graduation 2014 (18)

The training courses for tin smith and bicycle repair take 3 months, for tailoring and carpenter the courses take 6 months. Business management is an important part of the courses to learn the students how to start and run a small business. Besides these job-related aspects the students also are educated in hygiene, nutrition, family planning and AIDS prevention.
Graduation 2014 (29)

At the end of their training the students receive all materials and tools to allow them to use their newly acquired skills or to start their own business. As an example, the tailors receive a sewing machine, scissors, a tape measure and other indispensable materials such as fabrics and thread.

The orphaned young people who followed the vocational training courses were selected by their own community. Now they are graduated they will return to their own community, where they can actually start their own business and start building an economically independent life. The community takes profit in the availability of the services and skilled activities in sewing, carpentry, tinsmithing or bicycle repair these young people can provide.

In the last decade the Centre trained in total 100 young people and with your financial support Eva Demaya hopes to continue doing so in the coming years.

Once more blankets distributed against the cold

Blankets against the cold night
Blankets against the cold night

In the past few weeks we have again given out 100 blankets to the orphans in our area.
This is something which the Centre does each year. It is very moving to see how grateful the orphan children and their carers are when they receive their blankets. This year has been particularly cold (below 10˚ C at night) and those children who sleep without a blanket run a significant risk of falling sick or suffering burns from sleeping too close to the fire.
It is therefore not surprising that the blankets are so much appreciated.

Container for Eva Demaya

Container for Eva Demaya
Container for Eva Demaya

Early in June 2010, we shipped a container to Malawi with relief supplies of which Jacqueline had a shortage.
Mostly medicine, clothing, toys and stuffed animals, sportswear and sportsshoes, tools, bicycles, linens, blankets, generators, refrigerators, etc.
Preceding, we had one year of operations and activities to get all this stuff together. We were supported by several organizations that have been lobbying for us. Sports clubs such as KMD and Velo have helped us enormously. At the same time the recycling ‘s Gravenzande has helped us tremendously.
All belongings are safe at the place of destination and Jacqueline is very happy and will provide for further distribution.
This again was the completion of a successful project.

Malnutrition prevention programme

As you may have read elsewhere on this site, we distribute food packages to seriously ill patients, to orphans who need them and to malnourished children. We have now extended this programme so that thirty or so undernourished children, babies in particular, are closely monitored and are given bottle feeds and milk. Coincidentally, the government programme of helping undernourished children has been extended. At the moment government employees visit the Centre once a week to weigh the children and to distribute special food packets to seriously undernourished children. Babies, however, fall outside this help and so have to rely on what the Centre can provide for them. The so-called hunger months of January to April are always difficult months when for many people the maize supply is run down or exhausted. Children in particular suffer in this period.