• TWAM

“I want to use my skills to teach youngsters”

Simakanda has been learning carpentry with one of TWAM’s long term partners, Collins, who runs a workshop in Zambia to train young people. He also uses the profits from furniture they make to fund a local orphanage. A very precious ripple changing the world. He tells us the kind of young people he is looking for and he says, "I try to identify students who behave well, who are intelligent and want to learn. I want students who will help others and not just themselves.”

Simakanda is one of the students he identified. It’s easy to see why, as he tells us "I am studying at university to become a teacher as it is so important to give children an education. My parents do not work, so I know how hard it is to keep going to school and how important an education is. For me, the challenge was always to stay at school and not become a drop out. If you drop out of school, it is very hard to get a good job.

I am still struggling to avoid being a drop-out as my parents are poor and cannot help me with university fees. I must pay for them myself and it is very hard. This is why I approached Collins and asked if he would teach me carpentry. This skill will help me pay my fees, as I will work very hard making furniture I can sell.

But I do not want these skills just for myself, I want to use them and my free time to teach youngsters like me to earn the money to go to school and college. I don’t want them to have the ability but no way to fulfill it. I can do this as I train and when I become a teacher.

Also, people should not rely on one thing, not even teaching which is under-paid. Carpentry gives another skill and a means of income. Maybe if I work in a community school that cannot pay me, I will have carpentry to support me."