Author Archives: Chris Collins

‘None of us are professors, secretaries or doctors – but I thank God for the profession he’s given us.’

welding student in Guinea-Bissau who overcame poverty through work

Cirilo grew up in a country where most people live on less than $2 a day. As a kid, he dreamed about becoming a doctor or lawyer. With a career like that, he thought, he’d leave his life of poverty behind. Now as an adult, Cirilo shows up to work every day ready to direct […]

Impact of the coronavirus in Guinea-Bissau, West Africa

WAVS students and staff have been proactively cleaning and disinfecting the school in anticipation of the coronavirus outbreak.

For the latest number of cases in Guinea-Bissau click here. June 26, 2020: One hundred days. That is how long Guinea-Bissau has now been under a state of emergency and shelter in place. And the state of emergency has now been extended through July 25. Under the state of emergency, there are restricted hours for […]

The new WAVS campus takes another leap forward

A grand from the Japanese embassy in Dakar is helping build the new WAVS campus to equip young people in Guinea-Bissau with job skills.

An American nonprofit. A government ministry in a tiny country in West Africa. A grant funded by the government of Japan. All of these organizations came together last month to make something special happen: Launch a new vocational school campus that will equip hundreds of young women and men with life-changing job skills. On February […]

A vocational school graduate shows that overcoming poverty is complicated, but not impossible

WAVS Graduate Erickson

After graduating from the WAVS Vocational School’s welding program, Erickson Sanhá was ready to set up his own shop. But without start-up capital, how would he buy tools and supplies? And without a power grid in town, where would he get electricity and space to work? And without business experience, how would he know how […]

Bruno’s dreams evolve with his vocational education from the WAVS School.

WAVS Graduate Auto Mechanics

In West Africa, a vocational education can make dreams a reality. As a little boy in Guinea-Bissau, Bruno would sit in class daydreaming of one day becoming a famous soccer player like the ones pictured on the front of a notebook he brought to school every day.  But when he would get home, Bruno’s mom […]

Deusa’s WAVS story: How computer skills gave her new opportunities and hope in West Africa

Learning new computer skills helped Deusa advance her career. Deusa was nervous. It was her first day at the WAVS School’s computer basics class and she wasn’t even sure how to hold a computer mouse. But she was confident that she would learn. After all, her friends who graduated from the WAVS School were now […]

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