When SHADE learned that the government centers for children with albinism were going to be sending home the young adults who lived in them, we sprang into action. We had previously invested in these young adults by sponsoring a group to attend vocational training schools, and we knew that God had given us a piece of His heart for this group.
In early 2017, SHADE launched a transitional program with the goal of helping these young adults with albinism transition from the government centers back to their villages successfully. To us, this looked like providing them with holistic care and training, as well as empowering them to have confidence in who they are. Once equipped with the skills and voice they needed to be successful, they could be launched into their destinies.
A group of students was welcomed to live at SHADE’s ministry base, where we offered a safe place to stay, food, and training. The students learned life skills, such as cooking, cleaning, gardening, raising chickens, and basic hygiene. A tutor taught those who were illiterate how to read, write, and do math, and students were trained in the art of soap and batiki-making. By teaching these skills along with entrepreneurship, students were equipped with the confidence and ability to sell their products in town and begin to lead more self-sustaining, independent lives.
Before exiting the program, SHADE leadership met with each student individually and talked about his or her hopes and dreams. From that discussion, we worked together to formulate a plan for their success.
While some wanted to continue in the soap business, others had great ideas for products or services that would best serve their home villages. Each student was equipped with the materials or capital needed to launch their business plan and was given a bicycle to aid in transportation.