Children and adults who receive an education have broader opportunities for life and career. The ability to earn an income allows them to provide for their families of origin as well as their own children and spouses, which can ripple outward to transform whole neighbourhoods and the larger international community.
Unemployment is high for young people in and around Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, with most people engaged in subsistence farming on small plots of land. Opportunities for youth are extremely limited. To meet this need, Roger and Chris Bast founded CFPC Vocational Training Centre in 2009. Each year, about 20 young Burkinabe men receive free training in practical skills in a Christian environment.
The qualifications obtained by graduating students are recognized by the Burkina Faso Ministry of Youth and Employment. CFPC also provides employment to local skilled tradesmen, who teach the students the practical skills required to graduate from the programs.
CFPC is helping to break the cycle of poverty for vulnerable young men and their families by providing the students with the skills they would need to be employable in the construction industry or run their own small construction business. Training is completely free for every student enrolled at CFPC. Each course runs for two years, with an emphasis on practical, “on the job” training. Programs are available for a variety of construction trades (including general construction skills, masonry, and woodworking) and were developed for young men with basic education qualifications who need more education in order to earn a living wage and support their families.
Future Plans for Expanding CFPC
Plans are in place to introduce a new welding program at CFPC over the next several years. The first class of five students will start the two-year program in fall of 2017. With the additional program, the total number of students receiving training each year will increase to approximately 26.