Grace Vocational Center
(Centre de Formation de la Grace)
Bangui, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Africa Missions North America commissioned the construction of the Grace Vocational Center project facility in Bangui, Central Africa Republic for a purpose. Central African Republic is a land-locked nation within the interior of the African continent. Bangui is its capital city. This country is impoverished and classified as one of the world’s least developed countries. Life expectancy on average is 43 years and the level of education is very low. Language is a barrier to progress with ninety percent of the population speaking the local dialect only and about ten percent speaking French. Many young girls are pregnant by the age of sixteen and young boys are driven to robbery because of poverty.
Africa Missions North America stepped in to address the social problem of poorly educated youth by retraining them in creative self-sustaining skills. Grace Vocational Center was built to train and teach dressmaking and English language. In addition, spiritual and moral instructions will be a mandatory part of the training curriculum.
Africa Missions North America purchased and secured land that was unencumbered for the center and construction work started in earnest in September 2011. The vocational center structures include a block of four classrooms, an administration block, and a separate toilet facilities block. Progress on the center was brought to a halt by the civil unrest in Central African Republic that boiled over in December 2012. AMNA restarted the abandoned project after normalcy was restored in the country and the center was completed and commissioned in February 2017.
This purpose-built vocational facility situated in the Quartier Miskine on Avenue Mbaikoua, is the first of its kind in Bangui, Central African Republic. Since commissioning, classes have started in earnest for the first batch of students enrolled in the center. Classes run for both English and Dressmaking under the supervision of well-trained instructors.
Impact: The Grace Vocational Center project is a great success story. The purpose of this project was to intervene directly in the lives of youth with minimal education and no means of livelihood. Training in creative self-sustaining skills is the only avenue to open a door of escape from the trap of poverty in the society. The opportunity to learn and speak English also created a vital learning tool and exposure for the students.
The dressmaking class is currently filled to capacity. Africa Missions North America’s intervention is changing the lives of students and bringing hope for a fruitful future. Young girls enrolled in the dressmaking program are encouraged that there is an alternative to promiscuity and prostitution as a source of income. The ability to communicate better and increase learning and education has also improved the quality of the lives impacted.