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"Once you have a skill in your blood, it won't come out."

Skills training with good quality tools can truly be a lifeline to someone who has dropped out of formal education and has little prospects of a future career. We met Yoram in Zambia, who proved that you can still be successful, even if the education system has failed you.

Yoram is a welder in the Women of Valour group in Solwezi, Zambia. The group was started by vulnerable women looking for a way to break free from poverty and gain independence. They believed that the best would to do this would be to offer tailoring and knitting classes to other women who needed the security that these skills provide.

As the group grew, they realised that more people could benefit from their training. Whilst most of their members were vulnerable women, they also saw many young men in desperate situations, often turning to crime to make ends meet. They decided to start offering welding and fabrication training to local young men to give them an alternative to a life of crime.

Yoram heard about this group and was intrigued. He had failed his grade 9 exams, and his family couldn't afford to pay the exam fees again, so he had no choice except to drop out.

However, he didn't let that get him down. As he was growing up, he used to watch his uncle welding and even learnt a bit himself, so he was immediately interested in joining the group. When speaking to Yoram, what stands out is his true positivity and optimism, and his willingness to work as hard as it takes to reach his goals.

Yoram told us: "When I had to leave school, I knew that this wasn't the end for me. There is something else I can do. I wanted to learn a skill like welding because I believe that once you have a skill in your blood, it won't come out. It will be with you forever."

It certainly wasn't an easy path for Yoram. His father passed away in 2017, leaving his mother to raise their 9 children alone. His mother lives in a village very far away from Solwezi. Yoram knew that if he wanted to succeed, he needed to leave the village and go to a place with more opportunities.

He made the hard decision to leave his family's village to stay with his grandmother in Solwezi and pursue his dreams of finding a lifelong skill. He started the 3-month course with the Women of Valour, and once he finished, he started working as a welder, earning money to keep the group running and support himself.

He sends a large part of the money that he earns back to his mother to help her and the family survive. This wouldn't be possible without the TWAM welding machine that the group provided him with.

Yoram has big dreams for the future, beyond just feeding his own family.

"I want to have a very large company, working with a lot of people, sharing ideas, and employing people who want to learn how to weld. It doesn't matter if they have failed their education, I will teach them.

I didn't learn this skill because I wanted the benefit just for myself. I did it because I want to be able to help others, and they can help me too."

Your support helps other young people like Yoram receive the tools and skills that will serve them for a lifetime, giving them opportunities when it seems like they may have none.


We'd love to tell you more about the impact that we're having. If you'd like to see even more stories of livelihood creation, sign up for our email list and we'll keep you updated.

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