Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is one worth it?

So it's been a little over a year since we opened the shop. We've had around 80 kids come through and have had to change things a few times to accommodate them... It looks like we're gearing up for another change here in August. The fact is that the younger kids are losing interest. I have a few kids that keep coming but the days of 45 kids lining up to get in are long gone. The local school has started a soccer team, there's a pastor who's hosting games and giving out candy (the games I can compete with but the candy sends him over the top:)) My class B all went to high school and now have no time to come... It seems like we're in need of a change.
Well before I tell you about the changes I'll tell you about the good things that are happening! My class C, the apprenticeship program, is going really well! I have four guys that are fairly consistent and have learned all of the machines in the shop. We spent approximately 2 hours per machine in the classroom learning about safety and how the machine works and then another hour of hands on "heavily supervised" practice. The guys are all pretty confident with the machines and are actually learning a good skill. Their first "solo project" was actually a test. They were required to go to there house and find a spot to put a medicine cabinet. They had to measure it and then do a 3d drawing to scale before actually building it... It's been almost a three weeks and one of my guys (Daniel) has actually finished. :) They're all turning out pretty good they're just behind because they got suspended for lying. :( Now they're back and at it again! Sorry I don't have pictures... There might be some on my facebook page.
Another thing that has happened is that we have met a bunch of guys who hang out next to the tutoring center and they can't get work. Some of them have been in jail, others can't get experience. The idea we're tossing around now is to expand our apprenticeship program with these guys and cut back the class for the younger kids. It's another change but I think it's for the best. I'm actually pretty excited about the change. While the younger class is beneficial I think it's more like a place to hang out... With these older guys and my class C it's an opportunity to really impact their lives by giving them a safe place to learn and real life skills that they can hopefully use in the future. Be praying with me as I start to write up a program that will be sufficient to teach them all that I can and also for a way to build relationships with them and eventually share Jesus with them openly.
Oh! One more development is that we are starting the accreditation process for the program as well. There is a government run Tech school that may be able to validate our program so the guys leave with an actual certificate that's backed by the government!! Pray with us for this opportunity as well because it is really amazing that it could even be possible!!!
In other news We now have 2 pinball tables in the shop! One was created by 2 students from the San Francisco area in Ca (pictured below) And the other has been a collaboration of many people who have come through the shop this last few weeks.
The other event just happened today! We had a guy come to our gate and needed a door trimmed... I usually don't do any work for the people of the community because it's just a gray area with the money, where does it go, we're a school not a business etc... However, today only Daniel could come and I thought, "poor guy, he can't cut his door cause he doesn't have the tools, I can't do it... but... Daniel could!" So I had Daniel talk to the guy and explained to him what could happen trimming a hollow door. The guy said if he ruined it he wouldn't make us buy him a new one and so I said ok! It was a great time where I got to teach Daniel not only how to cut a door but (which he hasn't done) but also how to come up with a fee and how to value his work and how to make sure your customer is happy. We cut the door together and I walked him through it step by step... Then we charged they guy ¢4000 colones ($8). It was great to see the wheels in Daniels head start turning... He just made almost half a days wages for 20 min of work! (min wage is $1.50) so here he is below with his door, nice and cut, waiting for the guy to come back and get it. For me it was great to see how we can be a service to the community with what we do and help the kids that we work with at the same time. Lets pray for more of that.

So if it was all just for Daniel would it be worth it? I think so!