One component of providing future opportunities for those in the cycle of poverty is teaching them valuable skills that make them employable while still in high school. David uses his 20+ years as a master upholster to teach middle and high school students a trade.
With only one in three teenagers attending school, many find themselves “hanging out” on the streets day and night. Of course, this means they tend to get involved with “street jobs” - drug dealing, pickpocketing, pimping, and other criminal activity. Unfortunately, this means many of them also begin drinking alcohol on a regular basIs; leading the drunk driving, fighting, and more crime.
When we first came to Dominican Republic, David began teaching adults the art of reupholstering furniture. As we got more involved in Los Charamicos, David’s heart became burdened with the large number of teenage boys with little to no options to break the chain of poverty. Their caregivers (if they even still lived at home) could not afford to send them to school, and they had no job skills. After much prayer and conversation, he offered an upholstery class to be held at Refugio de Fe for high school aged boys. The class made such an impression, middle school boys were asking to attend as well. Of course, David could not turn them away.
Due to limited space, the classes are now offered only during long school breaks. The classes are always full with a waiting list for more wanting to learn. We are praying for the LORD to provide the funding for us to obtain another building close by so that he can begin offering courses during the school day.
While upholstery is a valuable job skill that is in high-demand, we do not want to limit our students. Our desire is to offer other courses, such as plumbing, electrical, appliance repair, motorcycle repair, culinary skills, office skills, sewing, and hospitality. We know God will provide the instructors and the financial resources in His time.
Any donation will help break the chains of poverty and lack of skilled jobs to provide for their physical needs.