New skills to pursue new choices

Decisions related to a person’s future and career choice are often made during the period of youth. World Vision Lebanon, in partnership with Michel Daher Social Foundation, created an opportunity for youth to explore more choices that help their future. “Foster Access to income Generation Opportunities to Vulnerable Youth” is a project that benefits 21 young girls and boys from Beqaa, Lebanon, gathered to learn as much as possible about carpentry.

After finishing ninth grade, Charles, who is 20 now, had to shift his studies from academic to technical since it is less expensive and started working in order to help his family. He studied accounting for a couple of years and dropped out because it was not what where his passion was. With a curiosity to learn something new, Charles chose to try crafts, after hearing about the Carpentry sessions provided by World Vision.

At first, Charles was worried about several things, such as making new friends and the ability to fulfil the required tasks. However, he found that it was not the case when he met the tutor and his colleagues. They got along instantly. "Our instructor has a lot of experience in this profession, and he helps us as much as possible. We learn ways to identify the best type and quality of wood. We learn how to process and cut wood the right way in order to build tables, closets, chairs," he adds. "We also learn all the safety measures and the importance of being attentive when working with sharp tools."

Charles believes that with every session he takes, he is getting one step closer towards a full understanding of the carpentry craft. "I am loving this craft, and I was always interested in learning it. This is why I decided to enroll myself in the sessions.”  Charles aims to develop his skills and eventually make a living out of carpentry. “For now, having my own workshop is not achievable. I will try and find a job with a more experienced carpenter."

“This project is impactful on the youth. Today the skill of carpentry is vanishing and everyone is going towards machine-made furniture. It is an extinct craft,” Charles explains. "If you love crafts, you will enjoy it and excel in learning carpentry," he says, “everyone in class seems to be on the same page. They are eager to learn as much as they can, and they all dream of having their own workshop one day and promoting local products.” Charles and his colleagues aim to encourage local crafts like carpentry.

During the sessions, Charles made a big achievement. "My friend and I built a bench on our own without additional support from our instructor. He believed in our capacity, and I am proud of myself. It took us like one hour and a half to finish it,” he recalls with pride.

By believing in vulnerable youth, World Vision is giving them the opportunity to dream big today and achieve more tomorrow. With funds from World Vision US, the  “Foster Access to income Generation Opportunities to Vulnerable Youth“ is giving 21 young boys and girls who are not able to attend school and university a wider scope for career choices and a set of skills to pursue those choices.