A new job skill.
A new set of tools.
Rumario is ready for life.


Rumario started out welding like most other young people in Guinea-Bissau who want to learn a trade skill: He found someone who’s already working -- and watched and learned. In West Africa, these informal apprenticeships are common. But they have many shortcomings, including inconsistent quality and a lack of tools to practice with.

Rumario’s extended family of nine people – including an ill uncle who needed long-term medical care – were relying on him to provide for them. The apprenticeship wasn’t cutting it. Rumario knew he needed to do better.

One day, he met a local welder named Papa Mendes who was doing impressive work. Papa told him that he had learned how to weld at the WAVS School. So Rumario enrolled in the nine-month welding course. He worked weekends and evenings to pay for his tuition.

“WAVS gave me the training and experience I needed to be confident enough to take any job related to welding and do it. Now I have the courage to do any job I want to do.”

Thanks to WAVS Teacher Sponsors who help cover the cost of the course, the fees were affordable for Rumario – less than $10 per month.

After graduating in 2016, he received a new set of welding tools through the WAVS New Entrepreneur’s Program and opened up a makeshift workshop.

Rumario with some of the tools he purchased through the WAVS New Entrepreneur's Program. The program provides graduates with tools and equipment at subsidized prices. 

Rumario shares his adobe brick workshop with a local carpenter. It sits on a main road next to the town’s transit center. He pays for his share of the electricity to run a generator. With the steady income from his workshop, Rumario and his brother, a mechanic, are now able to provide for their extended family.

“I have a lot of work now that I have graduated and have the skills and tools to do good work. Before, I worked for others and got very little money. Now, I am doing my own jobs!”

Do you shop on Amazon? You can support WAVS with the purchases you make everyday!  Through Nov 2, Amazon Smile is donating 5% (10x the usual rate) to WAVS when you shop at smile.amazon.com.

Start your Christmas shopping early or get those items you have been saving in your cart and your purchases will help WAVS!

There is no extra cost to you. Just set up your Amazon Smile account and make sure you are always shopping at smile.amazon.com. For more details on setting up your Smile account go to  wavschools.org/amazonsmile.
Copyright ©  2018, West African Vocational Schools, All rights reserved.

Thank you for your support of West African Vocational Schools. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit and gifts are tax-deductible. EIN# 91-2028889. To make a contribution to WAVS, go here.

West African Vocational Schools
p: (559) 825-1771

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West African Vocational Schools · P.O. Box 25455 · Seattle, WA 98165 · USA

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