Empowerment in action

Mike Tembo, now aged 25, was one of 23 young unemployed people recruited to train with us on our community build project at Bissell Community School in 2017.

Mike successfully completed his training gaining a certificate in Brick and Blocklaying during the build of new classrooms for his local community.

Mike’s new skills have opened up new opportunities, and Mike has not struggled to find work since completing his training.

His commitment and hard work, positive attitude and good behaviour are key attributes that no doubt have helped Mike rise from unemployment to becoming a contractor and employer.

Mike is now able to look after his wife, their 1-year-old son, his parents and six siblings.

Paying it forward

As well as continuing to improve his own opportunities, Mike is committed to contributing to the economic empowerment of his fellow youths.

In September 2019, Mike was successful in gaining a 5-month contract from Build It to construct a latrine block at Chitukuko Community School.

To help him with the work, Mike has employed a team including four Build It graduates: Hilda and Ben from our Chitukuko project in 2016, Noah from our Bissell project in 2017 and Davis from our Kamaila project in 2018.

Build It will be supporting both Mike and his team with further training through four workshops covering: Health and Safety, Material & Labour Management, Quality Assurance and Drawing Interpretation.

Mike shared his thoughts on his experience:

“There is a big difference from when I was a trainee to today.

I can build a new house by myself. I can dress, feed, pay for the home, support my child, my parents, brothers, sisters and workers. I am now able to afford household goods that I could not afford before.

To my fellow Build It graduates, you need to put in extra effort and work hard in order to thrive like I did.

To Build It International, I would like to thank you for changing my life. My life now is better than it was in the past.

I will continue to be a contractor to work for myself and to be able to employ other youths.”

This is empowerment in action and it changes lives.