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Published on 24 April, 2013

The Skills Development Project gives hope in Central Asia

Central Asia (MNN) — Having a job is something that means a lot to most adults, especially when trying to provide for a family. In Central Asia, many men and women are the primary caretakers for their family, but they lack skills that will help them get a job.

Because of this problem, Baptist Global Response is in its fourth year of The Skills Development Project (SDP). The project provides apprenticeship-based vocational training for men and women by pairing them with established craftsmen. In addition to learning a craft, they have the opportunity to receive literacy training and guidance in other life skills, as well as hear the Gospel.

The project can only host about 40 men and women per course. The training lasts about nine months, and after the training is complete the students are able to provide a sustainable income to provide for their family. The average income in many of the towns that the men and women come from is less than 55 cents a day, and this training gives them hope for more.

"One of the great strengths of this project is that it can be readily replicated and indefinitely sustained," says the project director in a release. "Poor people who are trained in a skill, in turn, will train others. The long-term added-value of this project to poor and more vulnerable people is very significant."

One man chose to train as a motorcycle mechanic. After he finished with this training, he took out a small loan and opened his own motorcycle repair workshop. He now is doing very well with his business and has begun to train others in the trade he learned with SDP.

In other follow-up evaluations of the program graduates, many now have a successful business, a good income, and a much improved standard of living. The intention of this program is that the students will return to their hometowns to help build those economies.

Pray that lives will continue to be changed through this project. Ask God to give the teachers opportunity to share the Gospel. Pray that the program will continue to grow as the need continues.

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