We are so excited to announce the launch of our NEW Vocational Training Program Sponsorships at our Iris Cambodia Base! This program is designed to create an environment where young men can grow in character, their hearts can be restored, and they can walk in the identity as sons of God.
The NEED FOR STRONG ROOTS
Over the last five years, our Iris Cambodia Staff has had the privilege of building relationships with a number of children in their Dream Center community, which works to end child sex slavery and prevent human trafficking. As these children are growing older, we find that there are teenagers who are old enough to start working but who have not had the opportunity to be educated or trained in a skill. It is very difficult for teenagers who have not had the opportunity to receive an education in their childhood to start school at the base level in their teenage years. Certain jobs that are easily available to this demographic - such as construction or fishing - can create vulnerable situations with exposure to drug and alcohol addiction, as well as the risk of being trafficked. Lack of education and training also open the door for generational cycles of poverty to continue with young adults simply repeating the choices they see around them - prostitution, drug dealing, gang violence, domestic abuse, broken marriages, abandoned children, and so on.
Currently, teenage boys are in the greatest need of intervention. The lack of education and proper skills not only affects their everyday life, but also affects their self-worth and confidence because they can quickly feel they are lacking purpose. Education and empowerment through vocational and life skills training are essential to their growth into adulthood and breaking cycles of poverty and despair!
THE VoCATIONAL TRAINING CENTER VISION
Our Iris Cambodia staff has created a vocational training center as a place for kids to come out of the Dream Center community and into safety. We want to see them trained in a skilled job, have their hearts restored, and released back into their communities or wherever their future leads them. By equipping young men with the skills they need for a good job, some of the risks will be eliminated and we will be sowing into their future families and generations to come. Removing these young men from their pressured and unstable environments also allows them to more easily experience the structure, accountability, and safety necessary for growth and transformation.
The training center will focus on boys aged 15-25 years old. Initially, we are only accept boys from our local community programs with the possibility of expanding into a girl’s program or opening it to others in the future. The program will be holistic - body, mind, soul, and spirit. We not only want to see them trained in a job, but also help build who they are as individuals by providing them the opportunity to learn English, study Khmer literacy, or take computer classes.
They will live in dorm style housing with an internship through partnership with local businesses. The first half of each day will be spent learning job skills at their internship. During the second half of the day, they will take classes to improve their education. Weekly discipleship and connection with a local Khmer church will also be a part of the program.
“Our hope is to create an environment where they can grow in character, their hearts can be restored, and they can walk in the identity as sons of God. We want to be a part of equipping them to become strong, stable, healthy men who live with purpose and compassion.”
How Sponsorship Works
Each boy will be in the program for a year where they will receive training in a skill locally and discipleship with our staff. Through the year, sponsors can expect quarterly updates on the boy’s journey in the program via email. Once he has completed the program sponsor will be sent a graduation photo!