‘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. September 14, 2020: The WAVS Schools resumed classes, with extra protocols in place like wearing masks, for those students who were enrolled in the Spring term that was cut short by the state of emergency which closed all schools. These classes will go until September […]

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 […]

How vocational training helped this welder grow his business in West Africa

Welding students from the WAVS School

Ciro (right) and his former apprentice, Nilton (left), smile as they show off their welding workshop in West Africa. Ciro attended the WAVS Vocational School so he could grow his business and provide for four orphaned children. For years, Ciro Gomes earned a meager living as an auto body repairman — patching up old cars […]

To escape poverty, this West African trained at a vocational school to become a welder

Sergio has overcome poverty through working as a welder.

How job-skills training is a long-term solution to poverty How do you help a young man like Sergio, who grew up in one of the world’s poorest countries? Handouts like free food and clothing are quick and easy ways to give to the poor. But they also create dependency and aren’t long-term solutions to poverty. […]

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 […]

For this future leader in Guinea-Bissau, life is ‘Fantastic!’

WAVS graduate Vasco

How Vasco’s training at the WAVS School is helping him become one of Guinea-Bissau’s future leaders Poverty. Corruption. Government dysfunction. The woes of West Africa add up. But when you meet Vasco Iala, suddenly the future doesn’t seem so bleak. Ask Vasco how he’s doing and he’ll give you the same answer every time: “Fantastic!” […]

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