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Local NGO embarks on Leather Work Training

Dec 17, 2010, 2:01 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

KWAJEH Ability-The Gambia, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has embarked on a six-month Leather Work training for twelve students at the Methodist Special School.

The training, which kicked off in November, is expected to be conducted twice a week for a period of six months and is based on all kinds of leather works.

The trainees would be making shoes, bags, watches, and belts among others, all with leather.

Daniel K. Arthur, the project coordinator for KWAJEH Ability, said the aim of the programme is to equip the students with skills so that after school they would have something to do.

He says they are trying to build hope in the students, adding that the two best students from each school will be supported by KWAJEH Ability to open their own shops after the training.

Mr Arthur said the training is also going to be held in Saint John’s School for the Deaf in January 2011 and also for the less-privileged in the society like those in the SOS Children Village.

Mr Kwasi Amoako Mensah, the deputy head master of Methodist Special School, said they were grateful to KWAJEH Ability-The Gambia for showing interest in their students and also for coming to support them with skills.

Mr Mensah said their school is for children with mental disability, adding: “In time past these children were being kept in homes avoiding people to see them because they had the belief that the children were capable of doing nothing or were useless.”

He added that the school believes in discovering the potentials in the students by helping them to develop.

He says they also have another department called needle work department where the students are being taught how to sew, weave and the like.

“Students learn slowly but if you have patience with them, you get them learnt what you want to teach them,” he says.

Abdourahman Baldeh, the trainer hired by KWAJEH Ability who also runs his own shop at Bambo opposite the Banjul Pharmacy where he repairs original leather shoes and also reduces long hills of female shoes, said the starting of anything  with the students is always difficult.  “But after a while we start to gain some progress,” he says.

Awa Sanneh, a student and participant, says the training is very important for them, adding that knowing how to make leather items would help them to open their own shops where they can be earning a living after completing their schooling.