Friday, February 24, 2012

Joining the Work Force

Happiness in Nsenga

Options.  They are one of the characteristics that separate a developed nation from an undeveloped nation.  It seems to me that one of the biggest options citizens of Uganda have is education.  The option is limited by access to school fees, but choosing to participate in educational opportunity and choosing the quality of school is full of options.  There are far too many children who spend their days looking after cattle, fetching water, and wishing each evaporating day that they could take advantage of the school option.  Unfortunately, the education system depends on rote memorization of information and seems to be grossly deficient in helping students solve problems, motivate creativity, and stimulate innovations ... elements of a developed nation that help it prosper and provide exponential options.  One of the consequences is a very limited work force.  Jobs are VERY hard to find and there are few who emerge from the educational system who are job creators.

Last week Next Generation Ministries partnered with Mission 4 Water to provide an option for 16 young men to join the work force here in Uganda. Thanks to generous donations from friends of NGM, a tool kit was purchased from Water 4 Foundation and transported from Oklahoma City to Jinja in our baggage last month.  Included were four pumps that were developed specifically with Third World Nations in mind.  Sue Morgan of Mission Direct and Sunday Agustus, a Ugandan national, came to Jinja from Western Uganda to train these men in a new technology of water well drilling and pump installation.  Over the past two years, Sunday had successfully drilled 18 water wells and brought happiness to each location of the wells.  Now he and Sue were here to provide training for 14 unemployed men who would have the option to join the work force.

Current water source in Nsenge
Three drilling sites were analyzed by Sunday, Sue, and myself.  Recently, my bank manager had suggested we consider one of those sites, which was her home village of Nsenge, not far from Jinja.  The village had a typical well with a heavy metal handle ... and broken down ... pump which had been idle for months.  Villagers were collecting water from a nearby pool fed by a stream for, not only human consumption, but for their crops and animals. Although rain had been absent since the middle of last November, healthy vegetation was in ample supply.  It appeared that we were in the middle of ideal drilling conditions.  It only took last Friday and Saturday and then Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week, to begin with bare ground and finish with a fully installed and functioning water well!

Our trainer Sunday
The drilling kit remains the property of Next Generation Ministries.  We are in the process of developing a crew of six or seven young men from Jinja to market, drill, and install water wells as a means of income that also benefits communities, schools, orphanages, churches, and non government organizations with drinkable water. Additionally, NGM has made the took kit available to the Dove Voice Band for the same purpose as a means of income for their musical enterprises.

The students with the finished product
The opportunity is huge and the option is just waiting to be embraced.  Sunday was an ideal trainer.  His instructions were clear, motivating, and thorough. His heart for his fellow countrymen was huge and he did all he could to motivate them to receive the option to join the work force. His personal story should be enough to stimulate some of those who took advantage of the training to explore this pregnant option.  Sure, the work is hard and the sun is hot, but the rewards are personally satisfying, financial, and beneficial.  Not only does H2O come to a community, but it builds bridges to connect the spiritually thirsty to Living Water ... Jesus Christ.

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