The Lutheran World Federation’s Vocational Training Center in Ramallah (VTCR) has partnered with the Palestinian Red Crescent Society to equip boys and young men who are deaf with the knowledge and practical skills they will need to succeed in the aluminum trade. The 12 trainees, aged 15-21, train with a VTCR trainer three days a week for three hours to obtain 120 hours of experience over 13 weeks. While in training, the VTCR works to connect trainees with job prospects and former VTCR graduates who can provide hands-on opportunities. The VTP and the Red Crescent Society determined that aluminum is a viable vocation for youth who are deaf because it is comparatively less dangerous and easier to communicate about than other vocational trades. Some trainees hope to open a shop together because, one states, “it’s easier to work with others with the same condition.”
Many of the trainees finished tenth grade at a local school for deaf students before beginning the course. Talib Hasib, from a village near Ramallah, had even received basic training in carpentry elsewhere. Yet, he eventually found that his style of communication was better suited for the more straightforward demands of the aluminum trade. Since beginning the course Talib has been working in his home village with a VTCR graduate who opened an aluminum workshop.
This course, a result of partnership between the LWF and the Red Crescent Society, is the first VTP short course in many years to specifically target students with special needs. The VTP hopes to offer similar courses in the future.
The Lutheran World Federation is a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Sweden, the LWF now has 145 member churches in 79 countries all over the world representing over 70 million Christians. The Lutheran World Federation Department for World Service (DWS) is the relief and development arm of the LWF. Drawing on a firm commitment to uphold the rights of the poor and oppressed, DWS works in 32 countries with local and international partners to alleviate suffering, combat injustice and poverty, and lay the foundation for a life in dignity for all. The LWF is a founding member of the ACT alliance (Action by Churches Together).