“I Can Make 30 Thousand Kwacha a week”
[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]That was what Aubrey Banda boldly told us. Aubrey is a carpenter. He graduated from our carpentry class in 2015. In a rural community where Aubrey comes from, earning even 5 thousand Kwacha is considered quite an achievement. Today, the man can make 30 thousand Kwacha per week but that was not the case in the past.
Aubrey comes from a community where a large number of people depend on subsistence agriculture. As a matter of fact, he too was a farmer but what he earned from the business was not enough to support his livelihood. Aubrey explained that farming was unreliable and sometimes, due to erratic rains or disease outbreaks, his farming business was affected.
“I really wanted to have another source of income that could supplement farming.” Aubrey reflected. Most importantly, he wanted practical skills that would help him work on his own to make extra income. Carpentry was his priority. According to him, carpentry is a rewarding career since the material used in the job, like timber and nails, are easy to access. Aubrey applied for a carpentry course at our vocational training centre in 2015 and was successful.
Thus started his journey in the profession.
“It was a blessing for me and it is something I don’t take for granted.” Aubrey commented. Although everything seemed rosy for him, something disturbing awaited him after his completion of the course. His wife passed on in 2015 and that changed everything. Aubrey found himself facing the challenge of raising and supporting their two kids as a single parent. It also meant that he was tasked with the responsibility of providing for the children on his own. That was where the skills he gained from carpentry worked wonders!
“I knew if I didn’t do something quickly I would be in trouble so I immediately put my skills to good use.” He said “I started a small carpentry shop at home and from the little I obtained, I managed to take care of my kids.” Aubrey went on, saying that he utilized the start up toolkit he received after graduating to launch his workshop. He admitted that at first it was difficult but eventually, he made a name for himself and people started approaching him whenever they needed carpentry services. On a good day, the shop can generate up to 30 thousand Kwacha a week! The revenue he gets from the business has helped him pay for education for his children.
He further revealed that on some occasions, for example when he produces a door, he can even make around 18 thousand Kwacha a day. It does not end there because his community has also been rewarded by his skills.
“People used to walk miles to find a carpenter but now they have someone close by and readily available.” He confidently related. He is also the first person the community members rush to in cases where there is a funeral in the village and a coffin is needed. Aubrey is even training his relatives in carpentry. After launching the shop, two of his brothers approached him to ask if he can help them learn the skill. He showed them how to make small items like chairs and beds and they have since produced some beds they are using in their homes.
“I want more people to benefit from the knowledge I gained. There is Hope gave me the skills at no cost at all and I would like to do the same thing to my community.” Aubrey closed.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]