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VTC Students Working in Uganda
Thursday, 12 February 2015 Written by Mary Moran

VTC Students Working in Uganda

Since 2011 when we (St. Francis Counselor Training Institute) began to construct a large multipurpose educational building, we were very lucky to have volunteer services from a group of Irish builders from Armagh, and a group of Rwandan student builders, with their teacher Emmanuel, from the Franciscan Vjeko Technical School in Kivumu, Rwanda.

The idea was that these young Rwandan men (and women) would carry out their industrial training on our building site. Each Irish builder was supposed to work alongside one or two Rwandans, in this way teaching and monitoring the quality of their work. The "experiment" turned out to be a great success story for everyone concerned.

VTC Students Working in Uganda

The Irish builders found that these young Rwandan men had been well trained, that they were hard working, disciplined, undemanding and although they did not know the local language or English they could manage communication very well by sign language and an odd word thrown in. In addition their teacher, who accompanied them, spoke English and he was always able to interpret their needs.

This year, in February 2015, Paul Donnelly undertook to have them work under his supervision and the supervision of Emmanuel on two separate projects, one, which they completed very successfully, and the other, which they are still working on. Emmanuel and two advanced level students came first of all to work on laying and pointing of pavement stones on the pathways. Later on a group of 16 came and were trained to work on laying facing bricks to one wall of the building.

VTC Students Working in Uganda

When the Irish builders arrived they found the Rwandan students had already begun the job and these young students were commended for doing a thorough and professional job. Paul Donnelly who has been their main supervisor and who has had to work with large groups of skilled and unskilled labour has been impressed by the commitment of the Rwandans. He has also been impressed by their politeness, good manners, graciousness in making requests, and finds them pleasant to have around.

Fra Ivica Perić, ofm, who is Headmaster of this Kivumu training centre, can be rightfully proud of his students from Padri Vjeko School!

Father Vjeko Center

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