WAVS graduate: ‘God has given me the power to be a welder’

Nilton, a WAVS School Welding Graduate, is now ready to open his own shop.

For seven years, Nilton Gomes worked as an apprentice at a small welding shop. But he was mostly given odd-jobs and didn’t receive much real training. At this rate, Nilton knew he would never be ready to start his own shop.

So in October 2016, he enrolled in the WAVS School’s welding program. Nilton quickly discovered that he had been missing out on a lot.

“With the things that I’m learning at the school, I can suggest better ideas than what we did in the past at the shop,” he said. “We have made gates and window security gates. I’ve used skills that I learned at the school to help improve the quality and design of our work.”

Nilton’s teachers recognized his skill, strong work ethic, and positive attitude. After completing the nine-month welding course, they invited Nilton to stay on for a second year as one of the program’s three welding interns.

Nilton working on a truss
Nilton working on a truss for a roof the welding students built.

The welding department had recently started the internship program to help keep up with the growing demand for its services. There were more project requests coming in from clients in the community than the department could handle with just its students and teachers. The interns not only gain valuable work experience, but they also generate revenue for the school so that it doesn’t have to completely rely on outside funding.

In June, Nilton completed his internship and has received a starter kit of welding tools through the WAVS New Entrepreneurs Program.

Nilton plans to open his own welding shop in the future. His older brother, who had encouraged him to study at the school, is helping him find a generator so he can make his dreams a reality.

“I don’t just want to do my work quickly,” Nilton said. “I want to do my work with love. God has given me the power to be a welder.”

Nilton Erickson Sergio NEP Program
Left to Right: Erikson, Nilton & Sergio receiving their starter kits through the WAVS New Entrepreneurs Program.

The training that Nilton received at the WAVS School has prepared him to open his own welding shop.

You can equip young people like Nilton with the skills they need to provide for themselves and their families — for a lifetime.

Each student pays tuition for the courses they take, but this only covers about 25% of the total cost. The remainder of the costs are covered by generous donors like you. Join the One Student community and make an impact in the lives of young people in Guinea-Bissau, One Student at a time.