Local church leads skills training

Skills trainers and guests engage during last week’s opening of the youth vocational skills training program at Morning Star Church in Rairok. Photo: Eve Burns.


Morning Star Church in partnership with the National Training Council (NTC) is hosting a technical vocational program where kids who dropped out of school can participate and learn life skills that will help them in the future. The opening ceremony took place at Morning Star Church at Rairok last week.

The training is funded by RMI government and supported by Marshall Islands Council of Non-Government Organizations.

Present at the ceremony were MICNGOs Director Laitia Tamata and staff, Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy Jeremiah Knight, PSS Deputy Commissioner Junior Paul, PII Manager David Kramer, Japan Embassy representatives Noriyuki Nakamura, Ryoya Arai, and Akiko Bobo-Anuntak, and the members of the church.

The training goals are to engage NTC certified trainers in technical vocational training to train school-dropout youth in carpentry, joinery, electrical wiring, welding and fabrications. The duration of the training is three months and 14 are participating.
Paul, who spoke on behalf NTC-PSS, commended Morning Star and MICNGOs for a well-done initiative by empowering women into the program. “It is our hope that by the end of the training program, you will gain the experience and it will give you an opportunity help build a house in this area for the better service for your clients and the community and hoping that it will benefit you,” he said. “Our advice to you trainees — work hard, be humble, and respect each other.”

Kramer pumped more excitement into the program when he told trainees that when they pass the program, PII will hire them.
A highlight of the opening ceremony for the youth vocational training is the two females breaking gender barriers.

Patty Townley, 18, and Mary Neba, 20, are the two females that are learning the skills of carpentry welding, and electrical wiring.
The two have known each other since they were children and both knew that they were into carpentry. Patty was 13 when she discovered that she had a passion for building and fixing things, Mary was 16.

When the training the was announced at the church, the girls knew this was the start for them, although it took a little push for Mary as Patty went the next day and dragged Mary to the training. Mary is now enjoying the learning and experience. Although the girls are really into building and fixing things for themselves, they both plan to go back to school to pursue further education.

Mary has discovered that she has come to like welding more and is focus on learning this skill. Meanwhile, Patty finds electrical wiring sparks an interest for her.
“It’s good to be able to fix things for yourself and helping others,” they said. The girls view themselves as fast learners and don’t find the training hard.
They enjoy all the hands-on lesson because it’s the fastest way they learn. Their advice to other girls is to “pursue what you want to do, even if it’s a man’s job in society’s eyes, do what makes you happy.”


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