Training is a cornerstone of what our team does here at Kibuye. Most of our team is involved in training surgeons, doctors, and nurses, but on the construction team we also have an apprenticeship program where masons, carpenters, iron workers, and welders can be trained by those already in the 'guild'.
When the first members of our team arrived in 2013 my brother ran the construction crew when he was not in the operating room. He strongly encouraged this apprenticeship program and to this day the construction leadership team still reminds me, "But Doctor Fader said we must always be teaching..."
Each year now for most of the last 10 years we've had a cadre of apprentices in various trades enter the year-long program. In order to enter the program, one must show good work ethic, a willingness to learn, and must be able to provide one goat for the induction ceremony/feast at the end of the year. The goat sacrificed represents the life-long dues required by the guild. Most of the time these apprentices are chosen from among our hard-working laborers. Hence a goat represents about 2 months' salary for them: no small sacrifice!
In November we celebrated the induction of 10 new members into their respective guilds. Since there were 10 of them it was decided that instead of 10 goats we should just get one very large cow. Each of these 10 graduates were allowed to bring their extended families to witness the event. There were speeches, pictures, laughs, and lots of beef shared around. Each graduate was presented with tools of the trade by their primary teacher such as a trowel, level, measuring tape, etc. As expected, it was a lovely team-building experience.
|Our foreman, Sadiki, welcoming everyone. Graduates are seated in the front row.
|Cooked bananas, french fries, and lots of beef.
However, this year was extra special. For the first time in these last ten years we had our first female graduate. Her name is Savella and not only did she finish this year-long apprenticeship in a field absolutely dominated by men, but she was anonymously voted by the whole mason's guild as one of the top two graduates!! As our foreman was announcing the results of the vote he opened with, "Now please hold on to your hearts...." Everyone is very proud of Savella and we are so pleased to have her as a part of our construction crew.
|Savella receiving the tools of her new trade!
|Skillfully adding the finishing touches...