Central Asia (BGR/MNN) ― The first group of students has begun their training through a Baptist Global Response -sponsored apprenticeship program in Central Asia.
This remote area offers little opportunity for its residents to obtain the skills they need to pull themselves above the poverty many families have been trapped in for decades. Decades of conflict have resulted in poverty and loss of hope for many families.
The predominant people group in this region (unnamed for security reasons) is traditionally a semi-nomadic herding people, but as they have become more settled in towns and villages, a small percentage has obtained the skills and education that allow for economic independence. Many young men from rural communities travel to the city in search of work, but most are unskilled and find work only as day laborers.
BGR partners matched eight students with local craftsmen for long enough apprenticeships for them to be able to work independently and provide for their families. The development of skilled workers in turn builds up those rural communities, providing a much-needed service and slowing the flow of migrant workers to the cities.
Students are learning skills like tailoring, motorcycle repair, carpentry, mobile phone repair, and auto body work, and hopefully will be able to start their own small businesses after completing their apprenticeships.
Two more students are expected to join the program soon. In addition to working in their apprenticeships, these students are attending classes once a week where they are learning basic literacy, health and hygiene and money management. The students and the project manager are also working together on a community service project that they hope to begin soon.
Ask God to give partners wisdom in choosing the right people to be students and trainers. Pray that the integrity and work ethic displayed in this project will be noticed by many, including government officials.
BGR was created to help Christians become more effective and efficient in responding to global needs created by acute and chronic situations. They coordinate global resources in response to natural disasters, catastrophic crises, and chronic humanitarian needs outside the United States and Canada. In so doing, they represent the hands and feet of Christ during crisis situations and open doors later for Gospel work.