We are so proud to let you know that our young man, Mike, has started mechanics training!!
Mike has been involved in Kids First from the early days and was one of the first sponsored children in 2008. He had a really difficult background and had been out of school for a while. Sarah and Sunny have been sponsoring him for the past few years and Joshua has been putting in huge effort to support Mike with his studies. When he wasn't succeeding Josh counselled him, and helped him into a new school in the hopes that it would have more support for him.
In the end, we all realised that with such a long time out of formal education, school just wasn't the right place for Mike. He is good with his hands and likes to learn by doing, not by sitting in a classroom. He has an interest in mechanics and loves cars. The next step was to turn this into an opportunity for him.
There are no government funded techs or colleges where Mike could go to learn these skills. To be a mechanic you need to find someone trustworthy who will take you on at their garage and learn purely by apprenticeship. What you put in is what you get out. And if you do well, hopefully you will have a job at the end of the year.
After much searching and speaking to different mechanics in Kampala, Josh has found a place where Mike fits in and is able to attend. He is a shy young man, and needed encouragement to know that he could do it. For the past 2 years he has been out of school and mentored by Joshua till he had enough self esteem to put himself out there with training, and till he was old enough to be taken in for training. The fees for his training aren't much more than a year's sponsorship. And after 12 months hopefully Mike will come away with a sense of accomplishment, a job, and an income.
As Josh says: from a boy we are happy to have grown a man. And not just a man, but someone who will be able to be a good father to his kids and support his family.
Here at Kids First we all have something to say, so this blog will be updated by members of our team as our work progresses to keep all of you in the loop!