Project #198 Safe Water Sources for Vocational Schools in Guinea Bissau

Our partnership with WAVS

Guinea-Bissau is a country of nearly 2 million people facing dramatic challenges: crippling poverty, a long history of political instability, and the substantial influence of drug traffickers. More than 2 out of 3 people in Guinea-Bissau live off less than $2 daily. As of early May, there were 475 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Guinea-Bissau. The number is increasing every day and the country’s health infrastructure is extremely poor, even compared to neighboring countries. In response, the government has closed all schools because of the crisis, including the WAVS training centers. When the WAVS training centers are able to reopen, they will play a vital role in the country’s economic recovery by equipping students with practical job skills. However, both training centers currently lack reliable water sources. More than ever, access to clean water at the training centers will be essential for handwashing and disinfecting surfaces to prevent the spread of life-threatening diseases like COVID-19.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, One Day’s Wages partnered with WAVS to ensure the health and safety of school staff and students. WAVS offers vocational training courses in computer basics, welding, English, and French. These skills help young women and men earn a reliable income so that they can provide for themselves and their families for the rest of their lives, but students and staff will not be able to participate in these vocational training activities if they cannot stay safe from COVID-19. Through this partnership, WAVS installed boreholes that provide clean drinking water and handwashing stations at two WAVS vocational schools in Guinea-Bissau. 

Our Collective Impact

Borehole Constructed

Water Tower Constructed

Total People Impacted

Meet Erickson

Erickson grew up in Guinea-Bissau, a tiny country in West Africa where most people live in poverty. He knew that his best chance at overcoming poverty was to learn a job skill so he could earn a reliable income. So he enrolled in the WAVS School’s welding program. Erickson enjoyed the 9-month course so much, that he stayed on for a one-year internship with the welding department. During the internship, he received practical business training: how to invoice customers, track materials, and take on custom jobs for clients. These skills, along with a set of tools he received through the WAVS New Entrepreneurs Program, set Erickson up for success.

“After my internship, which gave me even more experience in this type of work, I wasn’t afraid to take on any job,” Erickson said.

Today, Erickson and two of his fellow graduates are growing their small welding business. Recently, they built 70 desks for a local school run by a church in town, which also provided them with a generator and work space. Erickson’s story is just one example of how young people in West Africa have overcome poverty through work. All they needed was for someone to give them the opportunity.

Thank you for making this possible!

Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.

If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to our children’s education fund.

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