Who helps the ones in need? Meet Nguateh Bless, founder of Bless Foundation, Buea. His passion to help those unable to go through formal education pushed him to build a foundation.
Although every society has less privileged persons, the turbulence in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon has increased the number of such persons.
According to Bless, his foundation aims at identifying and prioritizing these persons first, before those who come in to gain a skill. He also thinks that this will help occupy these persons and keep them from copying bad habits from the streets that may affect society negatively.
Bless foundation is a vocational training center where youths receive training on skills ranging from pastries, IT, Satellite installation, manicure/pedicure, and handicrafts, to name a few.
The foundation has been operational since June 12, 2021, with a handful of students and some volunteers as teachers. But as months pass-by, the volume of students that come in is more than the facility can accommodate.
As a result, Bless alone cannot effectively follow up these persons. So, he divides them into groups and trains them in shifts. He also noted that, because of inadequate materials, the number of less privileged persons the foundation can accommodate is small for now, given that those who come in especially for IT training need to have individual desktops to work.
To solve this problem, he chooses those who come first and schedules the rest for the following shifts. Meanwhile, persons who can at least afford a laptop or borrow from their friends will be admitted for the first shift.
Bless foundation officially graduated its first batch of 24 students on July 15, 2022. The training lasted for five months and saw students from departments like beads design, satellite installation, manicure/pedicure, and IT.
Although Bless foundation is happy with its first official achievement, he hopes to have a bigger space and more equipment to accommodate more trainees.
Besides accommodation problems, Bless regrets the pain these graduates had to go through to take lessons, given that most of the trainers at the foundation are volunteers who sometimes schedule classes out of the training center.
Outside the business of empowering people with vocational training skills, Bless Foundation offers counseling sessions for young people, opens its doors for interns, and visits orphanage centers within Buea to teach handy skills to prepare them for adulthood. Meanwhile, during this year’s back-to-school campaign, they equipped some students from Grace of God orphanage home Buea with school materials.
As Bless foundation prepares to welcome its second batch of about 100 trainees in October, it hopes that with some assistance from people with goodwill, he will be able to accommodate more unprivileged persons in a comfortable working environment and why not support graduates with a starting capital to enable them be job creators?