Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi, has gained a master builder who is literally building himself and his family a better future. Not only is Gibson uplifting himself and his family, he is benefiting his community and contributing to the local economy.
A young man, unskilled, unemployed and in his own words, “ignorant of all physical work”, Gibson was chosen to participate in the Brunstad Christian Church’s Christian Youth Development Program (CYDP) in South Africa. This was life changing for him, not only physically, technically and financially, but also spiritually; as he expressed in a letter of sincere thanks and gratitude to the Christian Youth Development Program coordinator, Tielman Slabbert.
Brunstad Christian Church South Africa, works in collaboration with the Basfour Group and here specifically Riveredge Projects provides free on-the-job training to CYPD members. During a typical one year period members are rotated through a number of trades to give them exposure to and an understanding of all building trades. If interest is shown in a specific trade, such as plumbing, brick-laying, carpentry to name but a few, the member/trainee may concentrate on that particular trade.
From the humble beginnings of doing simple maintenance tasks, basically learning to become ‘work fit’, Gibson moved on to learn different trades in the building industry. These trades included brick laying, plastering, painting, plumbing, electrical work, carpentry and welding. Not only did he learn these practical trades but he was trained to be a site foreman. In this capacity, Gibson learned to write reports, place orders and to control the issuing of tools and building materials, and how to calculate quantities of materials required on a project. This equipped him to become a project manager and he was given the responsibility of managing the building of a house and being in charge of the workers. The experience he gained in all areas of the building industry and his willingness and ability to learn quickly, made Gibson an exceptional project manager.
On his return to Malawi, he immediately put his newly acquired skills into practice and he secured contracts to build two houses, one of which has been completed and the other he is presently working on. Gibson has not only learned to work well with other people, he has learned to work smart and coupled with his skills and work experience, he has recently signed up another four building contracts.
He is deeply thankful for the opportunity of participating in the Christian Youth Development Program. While on the program Gibson gained a solid understanding of the gospel and its practical significance in daily life and so he is not only able to provide for his family, but he is a an example to them and his friends around him of what it means to be a disciple of Christ. He has a heart for young people and has created work opportunities for them through the building company he has established.
In the same way that the CYDP has benefited Gibson, it is benefiting many other young people on the program, who in turn, go back to their own countries and are able to uplift their communities with the skills they have learned and the spiritual guidance they have received, thereby spreading the positive ripple effect of success!