Tolik & Slavik beat the odds through apprenticeship
Orphaned youth face incredible challenges as they search for jobs:
- A likely unemployment rate of 20% or higher, according to Director Andrey (officially it’s about 10%). The few openings are shared through family and community networks, which orphans don’t have.
- Rampant payroll fraud, especially in security and construction jobs. It’s common for employers to promise a paycheck at the end of the month, but never pay anything.
- A broken post-Soviet educational system where very few degree programs lead to jobs.
Plus, orphaned youth often don’t know basic employment expectations, or how to advocate for themselves on the job.
Job success and community care for our crew
That’s where the Restoration Project comes in! Slavik and Tolik are the two most recent program graduates. Foreman Sergei mentored them spiritually and trained them in many different skills as they restored the homes of their fellow orphans. Our big community welcomed them. In fact, when Slavik was new, Tolik brought him to church and made sure he got to know different staff members.
Both young men worked hard and learned well. Thanks to his apprenticeship, after graduation Slavik found an opportunity welding in Czechoslovakia. He needed to practice welding skills before leaving the country, so he requested and received the loan of Last Bell’s expensive welding machine, which he cared for and returned on time.
Tolik’s apprenticeship led to a good construction job in Kyiv. He returned some weekends for church and time with Last Bell friends, but living far away was difficult. So he moved back to Zhytomyr permanently, into the home the crew had helped him “rescue.” Tolik is ready for his future, maybe even a future family! He’s in church every Sunday, meets with our staff for biblical counseling and relationship advice, and was recently baptized. And, thanks to his construction experience, he found a good job right here in Zhytomyr.
By God’s grace, apprenticeship through the Restoration Project is sending orphaned youth out in the world with job skills and maturity. Our two newest crew members, Oleg and Sasha, are partway through their apprenticeship, and we’re seeking a third crew member. We can’t wait to see what God has in store for these young men!
When you designate your gift to the Restoration Project, it provides salaries for our current crew—and any newcomers God sends to the team—while they learn and grow.