The Himalayan Institute’s Shey Wongibe has been teaching students at Kumbo’s Government Technical High School (GTHS) the theory and technique behind Sacred Link Jewelry.
The goal is simple: teach interested students the skills needed to design and produce jewelry, so that they can create micro-enterprises for themselves. In its first week, the course attracted over 160 students.
“There are two key considerations whenever you produce jewelry,” Shey Wongibe tells the class. “They are the customer and the materials. You must discover what the customer needs and how to produce it with what is available to you.” Shey Wongibe is not only teaching jewelry creation, but also the techniques for being a successful businessperson.
After a week of jewelry theory and business strategy, Shey Wongibe returned to GTHS to begin the practical portion of the course. With round and chain-nosed pliers in hand, students created a wide variety of earrings from scratch.
Gladys, one of the students, dreams of attending university in Yaounde, but her parents are subsistance farmers from isolated Banton village. She relies on her aunt for help with school fees and for a place to stay while attending GTHS. She explained, “If there’s any education that can teach me a skill to employ myself, then the knowledge really pays for itself.”
The students at GTHS are quick to recognize an opportunity when they see one. Self employment through jewelry-making will enable them to support themselves and their families as they finish school.