Three young adults demonstrate how the opportunity to work is a life-changing gift

Written by Rebekah Malbrecht

Poverty speaks lies to children. It tells them not to dream and that they are stuck in its cycle. It tells them they will never find fulfilling jobs to support themselves and their families. But that is not the truth. Kevin, Bethelhem, and Bruno are a testament that with the love of God, the presence of a local church, and dedication, a story can change. The stories of these three young adults show how work is a way to care for those you love. It’s also an invitation to dream for the future.

Kevin grew up in a low-income community in El Salvador in a house with seven children and many needs. This meant that opportunities for education and a fulfilling career were out of reach. Kevin’s community also had a significant drug presence. His desperate situation could have led him to make poor decisions, but instead, his local church inspired him and provided a wonderful opportunity.

His Compassion Centre started an innovative program to study mechanics. “I discovered my passion for mechanics at the vocational training,” he says. “That training helped me to know what I was going to do for the rest of my life. Now, my dream is to become a pilot and work in the aeronautics industry.” Kevin is a successful mechanic and supports his family while dreaming for the future.

Bethelhem is a civil engineer. As a young girl, she wouldn’t have imagined she would have such a fulfilling job. She grew up in a rural area of Ethiopia and was raised by her grandmother who worked as a day labourer. Because her grandmother didn’t have enough resources, Bethelhem wasn’t able to start school until later than most kids. She was registered with Compassion at age seven.

“Compassion is where I gained the vision to become an engineer,” says Bethelhem. She received a scholarship to attend university. Now, Bethelhem has been an engineer for four years. “I love it,” says Bethelhem. “I love creating designs. I love it because it uses all my ideas.” Her family weren’t initially Christians, but they saw the change in her life and decided to also follow Jesus. The local church and Bethelhem’s sponsor inspired her to pursue her dreams and now Bethelhem has a job she loves.

Bruno graduated from secondary school in Rwanda with good grades. His father passed away when he was young, and his mother worked to support Bruno and his younger siblings. When his mother told him they wouldn’t be able to pay the tuition fees for university, he was crushed. But Bruno was resilient and quickly looked for alternatives.

One career caught his eye: to become a chef. With the help of his Compassion Centre, Bruno enrolled in a course in culinary arts. Two years later, he found steady employment as a chef at a local hotel. He uses his wage to support his younger siblings with their own education and set them up for rewarding careers of their own.

And Bruno leads by example in his dreams. “Being a chef means a lot to me and my family. As the eldest child in my family, I must earn and take care of home needs,” says Bruno. “I plan to enroll for further studies in culinary arts. It’s a massive profession, and I want to become one of the best chefs in the world. I’m grateful to Compassion for shaping my career path at the time when I had lost hope.”

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