“I was inspired by my brother, as I saw he was working in carpentry and living happily.” Alidu Saabit
Chief Executive Sarah Ingleby, and Africa Project Manager, Ash Phillips, have recently returned from a visit to Ghana where they were able to visit each of our project partners. In the north of the country they visited NORSAAC who work to improve the lives of all marginalised groups through the delivery of vocational training projects, life skills sessions and business skills.
Alidu Saabit and Zakaria Selimana are currently training in carpentry, under the guidance of a Master Carpenter. Their training follows a nationally recognised syllabus and they have each achieved NVTI level 1 certification in carpentry. They are learning to interpret technical drawings and specifications in order to make household furniture as well as making trusses for roofs.
In addition, Alidu and Zakaria are receiving business and financial management skills training and have access to small repayable loans which help to meet business startup costs like buying materials and paying for premises.
Alidu is 24 years old. He began secondary education but left after failing exams in some of his subjects. He currently lives with his parents where he contributes to the family’s subsistence farming. Alidu spoke with women who were engaged in a NORSAAC led Village Savings and Loans group; they informed him of the training opportunities. Inspired by his brother, who was working successfully as a carpenter, Alidu began a carpentry course, where he learned skills in roofing, installing window linting, window frames, door frames, shelving, wardrobe, upholstery, trap doors.
The senior carpenter gives Alidu jobs to complete, which enables him to earn an income while he trains. Alidu is sustaining a customer base, attracting new customers and managing his income & expenditure.
The training Alidu has received from NORSAAC extends beyond the workshop. Students are also given lessons in life skills and learn about the negative effects of drug and substance abuse, giving them the knowledge to make safer and more positive lifestyle choices. Alidu feels positive about his future. Reflecting on how the training has changed his life, Alidu says
Zakaria left formal education at primary school age. His father died and as a result there was nobody to support the continuing of school or associated fees. He lives with his uncle, who relies on subsistence farming to generate an income. Zakaria’s friends told him about the NORSAAC project and the opportunity to train as a carpenter.
He began his two-year carpentry course in 2020 and has learned skills in roofing, installing window linting, window frames, door frames, shelving, wardrobe, upholstery, trap doors. The business skills he has learned enable Zakaria to understand market penetration and set prices for his work.
Zakaria earns money completing jobs given to him by the senior carpenter. He uses the money he earns to support his younger brother by buying him food to take to school. Zakaria is hopeful for the future.
Alidu and Zakaria both hope to settle in the town of Karaga. With a larger population that their home communities, Karaga offers more opportunities to find work and sustain an income. The senior carpenter will continue to support Alidu and Zakaria by sending work their way where possible.
Upon graduation, Alidu and Zakaria will each receive a set of high quality refurbished tools. The tool kits and small start up loans will enable them to purchase materials, rent premises and start earning money immediately after their training.
Since they were founded in 2002, NORSAAC have empowered thousands of people to make positive changes to their lives. If you would like to support projects such as these, please visit our donations page to give a one off or a regular gift.