|Victor, Leonora, Anabela, and Noemia|
Anabela has been in the orphanage since she was a tiny child and has been a good friend and sister to the other girls. She is a talented singer and has been in the band and on the praise and worship team for over five years. Anabela wasn't sure what she wanted to do after high school but decided on this culinary program after everyone thought she would be a great cook and that these skills would open doors for her. She did well in the program and we are excited to see what she does next!
Noemia came to us more recently but has been a great asset to the orphanage family - taking on any responsibility asked of her and making friends quickly and easily. She is quiet, observant and hard-working. Noemia has always loved cooking and baking and gravitated to the kitchen to learn new things. We love Noemia's enthusiasm for making tasty food and we expect her to go far with the culinary certification and new skills she's added to her repertoire.
Victor ("Little Victor" though he is very tall now) is a young man who has always shown exceptional character. He is extremely hard-working and usually the first to volunteer for jobs that nobody wants. He happily helps with the most difficult tasks and when he notices that something needs to be done he takes care of it without waiting to be asked or noticed. Victor loves cooking and took charge of marinating and grilling chicken, preparing rice and beans, and anything else in the kitchen when he was very young. The food he cooks is delicious and we were excited about him learning more about what can be done in the kitchen. We hope the skills he's learned in the culinary program will open up lots of opportunities in the future and we will be thrilled if he chooses to come back to us to be on the staff!
Leonora grew up in our church and is Marta's younger sister. She has wanted to be a beautician and after finishing secondary school, Marta and Silimone were able to send her to Young Africa with the kids from the orfanato. She did well in the program and is very excited about her new knowledge of hair care and everything else she needs to know to work in a salon.
It takes more than 12 hours to drive from Nampula (where our orphanage is) to Beira (where Young Africa is located). The roads are not easy to drive on and the trip can be dangerous due to frequent fatal accidents and sporadic violence. Over the past eight years we have been sending kids from the orphanage and from local churches to this area for Bible school, trade school, and even university. Most of our kids have never traveled more than a few miles and it's a very big deal for them to go all the way to Beira. The people in Beira are from different tribes and speak different languages. The local culture is different, and even the climate is different. In the U.S. we have a heritage of traveling and living in far away places. But in this part of the world people have lived in one place with their families and tribes for hundreds of years. When our kids travel to Beira they are somewhat like pioneers making a new way. After our first few groups of young people set the example and a handful of them are now settled in this area, it seems like there's now a bridge between us and them. The following pictures show other kids who have graduated from our orphanage who are now living in Beira and have supported these guys in every way since they've been in school there:
|Jeremias Victor, Leonora, and Noemia. Jeremias grew up in the orphanage and is now a law student at a university in Beira.|
|Gizela with the graduates. Gizela grew up in the orphanage and then went through the culinary program at Young Africa a few years ago. She now has a great job working as a cook for a preschool at a Bible school in Beira.|
|Victor eating the special graduation meal.|
|Anabela and Pacheco. Pacheco also grew up in the orphanage and is now a law student with Jeremias at the same university in Beira.|