The Vocational Training program provides much needed job skills training and repairs broken hearts of people from La Limonada who have been marginalized.
Employment in La Limonada is very challenging to come by. In addition to the lack of opportunities, there is a lack of education, particularly in skilled trades. For many people in the community, this is a factor that leads to a cycle of poverty. Through this program the participants receive training in an employable skill and are provided with access to suitable work and income that allows them to provide for themselves and their families.
However, the Vocational Training program is not in place simply to teach a trade. It is a means to repair and build new lives for the people in the community. For the apprentices, each day in the program is filled with shared meals, Bible study, prayer and discussions about the struggle of life in La Limonada, as well as training in a trade.
Currently this program is focusing on teaching women the art of jewelry making. In partnership with Women At Risk, International the jewelry they are making will be made available in late 2012. Proceeds from the sale of the jewelry will establish and sustain a shelter for abused women from La Limonada and their children.
Future plans are to develop this program into a comprehensive vocational training center with a variety of job skills training opportunities for the women and men of La Limonada.
You can partner with us in making a difference by investing in vital vocational training in La Limonada.
At first, the thought of going to vocational training was not one that excited Susana. When she began attending in 2010, she was used to life on the streets, selling various wares, from cookies to socks. The hardship of her life affected every facet of her life; she had no self esteem, her relationship with her two teenage sons was very unhealthy. There was a complete lack of peace in their home, with constant fighting and physical abuse.
When Susana first began her training to make jewelry, she only came three days a week.Susana was uneasy with being a part of the training program; she had fears of being yelled at for not doing things correctly, and of being treated without respect, as she was used to in her hard life. Instead, she was greeted each day by Katy, the woman who trained her, with the traditional Guatemalan hello, a kiss on each cheek. Her training continued with patience and love, and Susana began to soften.
Her fears were gone as she found herself surrounded by a community of people who cared about each other. Her inability to love or respect herself prior to coming to the vocational training was melting away, and Susana learned to accept herself. She not only makes the jewelry designs that she was trained in, but she has begun to create her own designs as well.
Susana’s life and her relationship with her children have changed drastically. Instead of the constant fighting, their home is filled with peace and respect. She learned that if she treated her children properly, that this would be reciprocated back on her. She admits that there is still a long way to go, but her outlook on life has changed so much. She realizes that she is capable of making her life better, and this hope has empowered her to continue working, changing, and loving her family.
*Name has been changed to protect this person's identity