Ismail grew up in the remote, Ugandan village of Oraba. His father was a truck driver, one of the few job opportunities besides farming in his village. When Ismail was a young boy, his father lost an arm in a traffic accident. Along with losing his arm, Ismail’s father also lost his truck-driving job.
The huge responsibility of providing for the family fell on Ismail’s mother after the accident. Since there were few jobs in the area, she left to find work in neighboring South Sudan. However, her income didn’t cover all of the family’s needs, and Ismail was forced to quit school because they couldn’t pay his tuition.
As Ismail grew older he realized that his village held little opportunity for his future. He left his village and traveled throughout East Africa in search of work. He found various short-term jobs; most of them involved assisting mechanics and carpenters.
When Ismail married and became a father, traveling to find work pulled him from his family. He saw his wife and children only about once every three to four months. Could he ever find a job that allowed him to stay with his family and provide for their needs?
Hope in a vocational school
To help Ismail pursue his dream of working near his family, an uncle supported him through one semester at a SALT vocational school in Uganda. The schooling included work in a welding shop.
Ismail valued the things he learned and wanted to attend a second semester. He didn’t have anyone to support him, but that didn’t stop him. Desperate to learn more, he earned his own tuition* by mopping the school floors and doing odd jobs. Ismail managed to continue his schooling.
Ismail proved himself to be highly skilled in the hands-on classes at the vocational school. As he worked with other students in the school’s welding shop, he learned valuable and practical skills, such as working with various tools and metals.
Before the daily hands-on classes, teachers held Bible studies for students. Ismail listened closely and asked questions. Our prayer is that Ismail will remember these classes and allow God to work in his heart.
When he graduated from vocational school, Ismail was equipped with the teaching and experience he had received. He began working at a fabrication business in Uganda. His dream is to have a workshop of his own, but right now he is focusing on building up his savings. With the metal skills he has learned, Ismail hopes to find long-term employment that will allow him to settle down with his family.
About SALT vocational schools
In many countries, people like Ismail lack the basic knowledge and skills they need to hold jobs and develop businesses. This draws them into a cycle of poverty.
To help these people learn to help themselves, CAM’s SALT program offers vocational schools and classes in various countries. These vocational classes teach students practical skills like sewing, welding, auto mechanics, and shoemaking, along with basic business skills. Students also receive Bible teaching, exposing them to Biblical stories and morals.
Please pray that the light of Jesus would touch these vocational school students. Pray also that they would apply the practical teaching they receive.
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