Vocational Training in Guatemala

Preparing older children to be successful in the outside world is critical because the outcomes are grim for orphans when they reach adulthood. Studies show that 60% of girls will prostitute themselves and 70% of boys will become criminals to survive. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Boys at Casa Bernabe, Guatemala City

That’s why we feel a strong calling to create and support vocational training programs wherever possible and in particular, those that will help girls become self-sufficient.

In January, we visited Casa Bernabe in Guatemala City and were surprised to find unused, fully equipped classrooms to teach skills like welding, hair styling, and cooking. But they hadn’t had a program in years. Why?

The classrooms sat empty because they didn’t have enough money for teachers. So, with help made possible by our donors we provided the funding for three teachers for a total cost of $12,000 annually. On Saturday I received a note from Andrew Griffin though FB about the new program:

Allow me to make your day, RJ:

Here are the first pictures from the new, fully functioning, Casa Bernabé orphanage vocational program. It started weeks earlier than originally planned. It was a BEAR to plan these children’s schedules with school around this, but we did. The buzz of all the children in the program is one of incredible excitement and even younger children want to participate. This is the welding program in our shop- all set up- up to 8 boys at times (mostly Saturday “groups” and weekday “one-on-one” classes).

Welding CB (1)


The welding instructor is a local Christian guy about 35, who has worked at Casa Bernabe off and on for years. He wanted to give back to these teen boys. He himself is an incredible artisan and patient man. The girls started with culinary and hair styling last week as well and are psyched! Allow me to further rock your world by telling you that 3 weeks ago out of the blue, the government sent us a hair stylist one day a week and she saw the other 2 vocations and now 3 goverment instructors come one day a week to train OUR new instructors more and actually promise to Certify these teens when completing the program. Simply amazing timing. The Certifcation is worth it’s weight in gold. We never thought that could happen…happy man? We are one happy orphanage staff. Thank you – Bless you

In four months we went from an idea of restarting a vocational program to having three up and running classes. It’s always amazing to me what can happen with God’s grace and a committed band of believers.

The World Orphan Fund will fund the vocational teachers for the next three years.

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