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Tilinanu Vocational Centre

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In 2014, Tilinanu opened its vocational centre. Tilinanu orphanage now offers a high standard of computer training to members of the local community, founded by Gift Mkandawire – charity co-founder, good friend, and the most inspirational man you could ever meet. Gift realised that even if somebody has passed their school examinations and made it through the Malawian education system, they would still have no computer skills, knowledge of the Internet, or even knowledge about the world beyond the village. How would people know to look for jobs which they don’t know exist? Jobs beyond the spheres of agriculture and manual labour usually require basic computer skills anyway.

Gift outside his computer repair shop

Gift outside his computer repair shop

Gift put it to the team to open the computer training centre, with donated laptops from the UK. Thanks to the help of T in the Park and their support of LOVE SPECS, the centre’s doors opened in September 2014 to 4 paying future scholars. Places are also offered as a scholarship to the girls of Tilinanu, or members of the community who show dedication but cannot afford to pay for the course. The paying students enable the vocational centre to run sustainably.

By December 2014, we were able to extend the courses on offer to train seamstresses. Using donated sewing machines from the UK, and from Butterfly Lodge, the first 4 places were given as scholarships to a group of women desperate for skills and work but who were unable to pay.

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Volunteer Katherine Sherry teaching a textiles class

The running and the ethos of the vocational centre is a credit to the hard work and huge heart of Gift Mkadawire.

Do you have a vocational skill which you could train somebody in? To donate a laptop, sponsor a sewing machine, or to help fund the £80 necessary for a person to attend a course, please get in touch . 

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