What changes did JVC’s vocational training make? (Part 1)

[Original by Yuta HASHIGUCHI, Sudan Project (April 4, 2022); Translated by J. Tsuchiya/A. Taguchi]

JVC’s vocational training project that began in 2021 ended last February. After finishing lectures and on-the-job trainings, almost all graduates got jobs at factories in the town and other places. From now on, they will start work supported by related institutions, community leaders, and youth leaders. Let’s hear from the trainees who have finished the welding training courses about their impressions and feelings.

Mr. Murtada (23 years old)

Mr. Murtada

“I moved to Kaduqli from a rebel territory several years ago. I don’t want to talk about the past because I had terrible experiences before I came here.

I heard about JVC’s vocational training program through a notice from a local youth leader. Since I didn’t have a regular job, I used to hang out, playing soccer all day long on the street, so I decided to take this course without the slightest hesitation. I sometimes couldn’t understand some theories during the training, but I solved them by asking a lot of questions to the teacher.

After the end of the course, I had the privilege to get hands-on training as an assistant at Mr. Hassan Juma’s factory. That led me to get a job at a water supply public corporation as an official employee. Now I can make a living and I feel like I am on the starting line of my future.

Mr. Khalid (16 years old)

Mr. Khalid

“My family has seven members, and my father doesn’t earn enough money for our education, so I only went to elementary school up until the fourth grade. Before I took JVC’s vocational training program, I was hanging out on the street, and I don’t remember clearly what I was doing.

One day, JVC was registering applicants in the Tilow district of our city. I wasn’t there, but a friend of mine told me that it might be a great chance, so I rushed to be registered later and was successfully admitted.

Since I started the welding course, I feel that my talents have blossomed. In addition to getting technical knowledge, I have improved my skills in making many kinds of things. What makes me happy the most is that I could expand my network of contacts. I met a lot of people in the region through my work, which is very stimulating.

Then, our teacher Hassan Juma recommended me to work at a water supply public corporation as an official employee. At first, I was worried about making a major step, but I felt grateful and accepted the offer. First of all, I expect my income will increase significantly, so I hope to put much more money into my family household than the current one of only 300 to 400 SDG per day.

But the biggest deciding factor was I could improve my skills through the job I like. In a small factory, what I can make might be limited but working for a big company can give me a chance to get higher levels of skills, so I am very much looking forward to it. Thank you for helping me reach this far.”

Mr. Ibrahim (22 years old)

Mr. Ibrahim

“I came from Dabakaya, the southern part of Kaduqli. I lived in Port Sudan when I was a child, because my father worked for a railway company. Then, our family moved back to the Nuba Mountain area, the hinterland of South Kordofan. The rate of school attendance and employment was low, and I only finished up to the third grade of elementary school. I couldn’t find any job in Dabakaya, so I came to Kaduqli in 2019.

One day, while I was playing soccer in the plaza with my friends, a community leader came to us saying there was an opportunity to enroll in vocational training. We all knew that we should not just play all day long and needed skills to get a job, so I registered without hesitation. Now, I am working as an assistant to Mr. Hassan Juma in his factory.

The work gave me a lot of happiness, which includes, for example, acquiring knowledge and skills, getting to know many people, teaching others, and so on. I hope to have my factory in Kaduqli in the future, where my family lives.

Mr. Hassan Juma taught me how to teach: First of all, students need to know the theory. Next, they can practice by reviewing the theory. It is normal if they cannot do well at once, therefore, the teacher needs to watch over them when they make mistakes and let them continue practicing. I would like to continue to support Mr. Hassan Juma.”

Mr. Jabaleen (15 years old)

Mr. Jabaleen

“I came from Toroji of South Kordofan and now live with my family in the Tafari area of Kaduqli. Because we have eight members in my family and are financially struggling, I decided to stop going to school last year to help my father earn money for a living.

When I was looking for a job, one of my relatives told me about JVC’s vocational training program saying, “Don’t miss this opportunity!” Now I am taking on-the-job training in Mr. Hassan Juma’s factory, and I think my life has become better since I started this program.

When I had no job, I used to play all day long without any hope, but now I work hard and after coming back home, I take a shower and relax, which means I have a good work-life balance. I watch soccer at night because I like it.”

Those who have supported the program

We also interviewed Mme. Safia of the Zakat Bureau, who collaborated on the program, and Mr. Hassan Juma, the welding instructor. Mme. Safia supported our activity by offering a place for training, selecting instructors, and supervising the trainees.


Comment from Mme. Safia, a collaborator of the program

Mme. Safia

“I found various changes in the students through JVC’s vocational training. They behave better than before. They consider others’ feelings more. They care about better appearance including their hairstyles.

The true meaning of this vocational training is not only helping them get the skills for the job to earn more for their livelihood, but also giving young people who have nothing else to do something to work on and helping them to not “spend hours and hours without thinking about anything”.

Drugs were once going around here in Kaduqli and some suffered from the health problems, but thanks to JVC’s vocational training, some can avoid such experiences and mend their ways. JVC issues certificates to the students after the end of the program, which is actually of great help. With their certifications and reliable skills, employers could trust them.”


Questions to Mr. Hassan Juma, the welding instructor

Mr. Hassan Juma

Why did you recommend Murtada and Khalid to the water supply public corporation?

“Because they showed perseverance among the trainees. Even when the daily wage was really low, they continued the training quietly without saying any complaints. Their endeavor bore fruits, and they’ve become able to make many things such as doors, windows, chairs, and desks using their welding techniques. I recommended them with confidence.”

Some factories suffer from a high trainee attrition rate, but your factory has a good reputation. There are many trainees like Murtada and Khalid who can advance and take the next step from your factory. What do you think is the difference?

“I failed a high school entrance examination in 1980 and couldn’t go to school. I started working in a factory just like my trainees. I made a lot of mistakes and couldn’t be successful easily, either. But despite the mistakes, my master always supported me, and I could go forward. This made me think that it might be my mission to groom the next generation by doing the same thing. I suppose the trainees have more satisfaction with an instructor like me than with those who just give factory jobs.”

A group photo of the instructor, trainees, and the JVC staff.

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