From education to employment

Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) Targets Issue of Financial Independe

The Adventist Development and relief Agency (ADRA) have announced a new initiative to help young mothers to develop the skills needed to be financially independent, it was announced recently.

At a time when BBC Radio Five Live reveal that a Mexican Government agency is giving out maps to help immigrants entering the United States of America (legally or otherwise), ADRA has equipped a training centre in Mexico City with the aim of teaching young mothers useful skills that can assist in supporting their families and developing their employment prospects. The young women, aged between 12 and 16, are residents of La Casa de Las Mercedes, a private institution that provides a home for young pregnant women.

Specialist and Tailored Training

Amongst the training they will receive is sewing and stitching, tailoring and infant care, including elementary health and hygiene. The clothing made will be for sale with the proceeds from the sale used to support La Casa de Las Mercedes. It is hoped that these skills will allow the young women to start their own businesses, specializing in the making of clothes for infants.

ADRA has a presence in some125 countries and offers community development and emergency management without regard to political or religious association, age, or ethnicity. The project, which began in 2005, will offer training for the girls until June 2006 when they will begin the production phase of the project. The project is funded by ADRA Canada and is worth an estimated 19,000 dollars. There are plans afoot to begin a clothing line for children as well, which will be called Madres Adolescentes Mirando Arriba (MAMA).

The country director for the ADRA offices in Mexico, Rafael Garcia, explained: “The goal of the project is to equip the girls with vocational training that will provide them with the means to provide for themselves and their families. It is also meant to be a form of occupational therapy for the young women.”

The training may be implemented on a limited scale, and the range of courses may be narrow. However, it is a valiant attempt to offer training and opportunity to members of society who are all too often overlooked.

Jethro Marsh

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