Skills For Life


 

Skills for Life Community Center: A community center that serves vulnerable children from the slums of Guatemala City. Over 100 children are enrolled in our afternoon programs where they learn computer skills, have access to books and the internet for research and receive a foundation in God’s word.

 

Our Approach

The Skills for Life Community Center was started with the goal of providing educational and vocational training to vulnerable children in neighborhood, slums and ravines of Colona Santa Fe, a so called “red-zone” of Guatemala City that is continually plagued by violence, gangs, extortion and killings. As one parent put it, we provide a safe place for kids to learn. Currently, over 100 children are enrolled in our afternoon programs that include computer classes, tutoring, help with homework and school reports as well as spiritual instruction and a foundation in the Bible.
Our goal is that our center and its resources serve as a benefit to the entire community. To that end we have opened up our facility to provide computer class to the parents of our students as well. Many of the mothers are in need of work, yet lack the requisite job skills, we believe that by introducing them to technology and teaching them computer skills we can better equip them to support their families. Casa De Libertad, our local church, partners with us in our outreaches to serve the families of the students that attend our classes.

Estuardo


The director of our center, has been working in the community for the past nine years.

IT & Computer Skills

In today’s technology driven world, computer literacy is a prerequisite for many jobs and is an important part of helping people transition from manual labor to skilled, professional jobs. At our community center in Colonia Santa Fe, over 100 children are enrolled in our afternoon programs that teach touch typing, computer skills, office applications and programming We have also assisted Orphan Outreach and several other ministries with setting up computer training programs in schools and orphanages in Guatemala.
2008

We started


In 2008 we started the first computer training program at the orphanage Fundaninos. We taught the classes for four years before integrating it into the school curriculum.

 

Skills for Life Programs at the Orphanage Fundaninos: Programs designed to teach vocational skills, life training, work ethic and prepare students for life.

 

Carpentry & Woodworking

Carpentry is a valuable skill and capable woodworkers can make a decent living in almost any part of the world. Many of the students have shown a tremendous artistic talent which they may never have discovered had they not had the opportunity develop their skills. In 2011 we started teaching woodworking classes at the orphanage. In 2012, thanks to a grant from the Family Care Foundation and other donations of equipment, we were able to expand our carpentry workshop to improve the quality of our training. Using instructional videos, classes and hands-on training, the students learn to use a variety of tools including scroll saws, routers, planers, drill press, saws, lathes and hand tools. Over the past few years the students have learned to use the equipment and are making beautiful, hand turned wooden pens on a lathe, drawing and creating wood burning art projects and building furniture. The workshop is a for-profit endeavor for the students to help teach them money management skills, products sold by the students are put into savings for them.

We have had wonderful success teaching both boys and girls starting at 10 years old.

Culinary Arts

For the past three years we have included cooking for the students in the home. 20 students rotate through weekly classes learning to cook gourmet meals, bake bread, deserts, cakes and muffins. The benefits of this are twofold, not only do the students learn practical cooking and baking skills that will benefit them in both their personal and work lives but the children who live in the orphanage also benefit from eating better tasting and more nutritious food. The key success of our program, is that students learn to make affordable meals, with everyday ingredients that are simple to make, nutritious and taste delicious, a skill that will benefit them in their personal lives as well as a career.


CNC Pre-Engineering

Our CNC (computer numeric controlled) classes provide at-risk students with the opportunity to improve their math and science knowledge due to hands-on learning using digital fabrication. Familiarity with CNC technology is making students employable right out of high school. And those students on a pre-engineering path are making leaps ahead in their preparation for college and beyond. As a foundation with limited resources, the concept of providing skills which are not only current, but ahead of the marketplace, makes more and more sense. In our woodworking academy at the orphanage the students are learning to use Vetric design software and a Shopbot Desktop CNC router. They also learn micro-enterprise and entrepreneurship through the sale of the products they make.

As part of our program they learn to design, cut and create 3D products out of wood.