Empowering Young People In Zambia
By Mike Viola
For more than 15 years, young people in Zambia have been building brighter futures thanks to the Lukulu Training Center. The Missionary Oblates help run the center, which provides job skills to young people who had dropped out of formal education.
Current we have 75 students,” said Bro. Maximillian Mwakacheya, O.M.I. Director of the training center. “Most of our students come from very poor families.”
The training center offers students courses in five areas: Automotive Mechanics, Carpentry, Computer Studies, Construction and Tailoring. Most courses take two years to complete. Upon graduation the students have a much greater chance of finding steady employment despite living in the poorest part of the country.
“The training center has trained many young men and women who now run their own small businesses, especially in carpentry and tailoring,” said Bro. Maximillian.
The training center is in the Diocese of Mongu. Oblate Bishop Evans Chinyama Chinyemba, O.M.I. has been a strong supporter of the center and recently donated eight laptop computers to be used in the Computer Studies program. Most of the students who complete the Computer Studies program go on to advance studies at the college level.
Brother Maximillian says one of the main challenges of operating the training center is to come up with the money to keep the school open. He is always looking for sponsors for students who are unable to pay the modest fees.
“I am happy with how things are going at the training center because I feel like we are truly doing Oblate ministry,” said Bro. Maximillian. “We are reaching out to the youth and even more importantly to the poor.”