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BACKGROUND TO CHODORT TRAINING CENTRE

Chodort Training Centre is a new Training Centre, which has been set up as a result of a partnership between Choma Consistory in the United Church of Zambia and a Consistory in Dortmund in Germany.  The Church Leaders in Choma Consistory saw that many of the young people were unemployed.  This is largely because there is very little formal employment in the town of Choma and in the local area.  In addition to this most of the young people did not have any skill or training so even when opportunities of employment came along they did not have the necessary skills to take up the employment.    Having looked seriously and critically at the local situation they saw that there was a great and immediate need for Skills training for the young people in their church and in the community.These needs could be summed up as follows:

1.      to cater for the needs of those who did not reach Grade 12 for many different reasons.

2.      to keep the fees to a minimum to keep the courses within the reach of the young people and their guardians.

3.      to provide training which would enable the trainees to practice their skill on their own if they could not get any formal employment.

4.      to provide training for both male and female.

The Church Leaders then decided that they should start a Training Centre that would take all the above issues into account.  The Partners in Dortmund, Germany agreed to support the project and so Chodort Training Centre was born taking it’s name from Choma and Dortmund.  It was decided to start a Carpentry & Joinery Course first and then follow it as soon as possible with a Tailoring, Dressmaking and Design Course. 

The First Task was to design and build a purpose made building for the Carpentry & Joinery Course.  This building incorporated another very important and special aspect of the Centre namely the Production Unit.  From the first stages of the discussions recognition was made of the fact that although fellow Christians in Germany were very supportive financially at that time, in the future the time may come when they would no longer be able to support the Training Centre.  Therefore it was imperative that the Centre has as its vision, aim and goal, the day when it would be profitable, and financially independent.  It was therefore felt that Production Units should go hand in hand with the training.  This has two major benefits: Firstly it generates income for the Centre and secondly it gives the students industrial experience while they are training.



This purpose-made building was designed and built, incorporating the production unit at one end, a storeroom, an office, a classroom/workshop and a toilet block.  This building has been built with the help of the Partners in Germany and has been equipped with modern tools, equipment and machinery from the Methodist Container Ministry in Ireland.

For the first intake there were five Carpentry students who successfully finished their course in December 2003 after completing their Trade Test as set by the Examination Council of Zambia.  Another computer application course  following core ICDL syllabus started in February 2007, and we are now teaching 64 students every year in computer applications. 

Although a consignment of sewing machines were also received from the Methodist Container Ministry in Ireland the Tailoring and Dressmaking Class did not start at the same time.  This was due to a problem of accommodation and difficulty in acquiring a properly trained lecturer.  However the Management felt that rather than wait for another purpose built building it was important that the course begin as soon as possible.  So the existing church hall was divided by a partition wall to allow the Pre-school to continue while the Tailoring and Dressmaking course could also start.  Although this is not very satisfactory in that the space is limited, it has meant that the course could begin on the first of September 2003 rather than waiting for funding for the new building.  This has proved to be very successful and the demand such that we have introduced an evening class in addition to the morning class.


An Institution like this requires income for two purposes: firstly to cover the normal expenses but secondly for developing the infrastructure, i.e. new buildings and equipment. 

At this moment in time Chodort has three sources of income:

  1. Fees
  2. Profit from Production Units
  3. Donated Funds

 Fees

Chodort has tried to keep the fees to a minimum believing that as far as possible education should be available to all people regardless of their income.  The fees are currently K700 per term.  It is the hope and desire of the Management to continue with this policy as long as it is possible.

Profit from Production Unit

In this unit the Vision of Management is to produce high quality items for sale as Chodort believes that high quality is important in everything about the Centre so it must also be obvious in the products that are manufactured and sold from this unit.  There is no other workshop in Choma with the equipment to make high quality wood products so we are targeting a different market to the other Carpenters and are thereby avoiding damaging their market.  The intention is to slowly build up this unit, gradually getting more orders and employing more carpenters.  With the machinery and with more properly trained Carpenters this Unit has the potential to greatly assist in the finances of the Centre.

Donated Funds

The present building for Carpentry has been built and equipped using donated funds, and as the Centre is still being developed it is currently depending upon donated funds for some of the running costs.  The Vision and hope here is to strengthen the Carpentry production unit and later start a Tailoring production unit and in this way gradually increase the income from these sources thereby reducing the dependence upon donated funds until the Centre is eventually completely independent. 

 VISION FOR THE FUTURE

Chodort Training Centre is still at a very early stage of its development.  Part of the Vision has already been realized in that the Carpentry and Tailoring Classes have started.  The first phase of the building programme has been completed with the erection of the Carpentry & Joinery classroom and Production Unit.  However the vision has grown as the great need for training among those who do not have Grade 12 Certificates has become more obvious.  The Management have realized that the Vision must not remain static but must be open to the normal changes in the community particularly with regard to the skills that may be required at any time. 

Chodort Training Centre has purchased a new plot of land to develop the Centre further.  The intention is to build hostel accommodation for students from outside Choma, more classrooms, workshops, offices and staff houses.  Our intention is to offer the courses that are appropriate to the needs of the community.  For example the new development will incorporate a new Computer Centre with an up to date computer suite for training in Basic Computer operation and all the Software Applications.  We also plan to have an Internet café on the campus so that our students may avail of all the Educational material on the World Wide Web.  There are some computer training facilities and two Internet cafes in Choma but their fees put them beyond the reach of the majority of students in the community.  It is Chodort Training Centres policy to provide quality training and offer it at an affordable level for the general community. 

This is a very big development which will require large financial assistance but the Management is confident that God will bring it all to fruition as he has done with the current development.

The Vision must not remain static but must be open to the normal changes in the community particularly with regard to the skills that may be required at any time. 


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UCZ Chodort Training Centre,
23 May 2014, 10:34
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UCZ Chodort Training Centre,
7 May 2013, 08:45
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UCZ Chodort Training Centre,
22 May 2014, 10:27
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