Dreaming Hands-On

Five sets of feet rest on the concrete while eyes and hands work busily beneath the truck. Each teen listens carefully for the next set of instructions, eyes following the hands of their leader, watching each move and memorizing the why behind it. They excitedly ask questions as they come, eager to learn more, soaking up new information and storing it in their memories. The air felt hopeful, much like the futures surrounding the vehicles.

Recently, eleven teens from partnering children’s homes had the opportunity to attend a training on mechanics and changing oil in Haiti. OneLife Ministry, a collection of around 100 business owners in the greater Cincinnati area who seek to run their business with Christian principles, visited Haiti in March with Vineyard Cincinnati. Many of the business owners share a desire to help Back2Back Haiti find and develop effective trade schools for older teens who will be aging out of children’s homes at 18. They also feel passionate to seek out possible business opportunities in Haiti.

Doug Beachy, owner and operator of Christian Brothers, began the training by explaining how engines work and the vital need for oil and maintaining clean oil in vehicles. The teens were then broken into two groups, one led by Doug and the other led by David Helsinger of Impact Fleet Service. The two groups were able to have hands-on experience with changing oil for about an hour.

“The teens really came to life during the hands-on time,” shared Brian Bertke, Back2Back Staff. “They were excited and they asked great, insightful questions throughout the process.”

As Back2Back Haiti explores what a transition program would look like for the teens, they are open to partnering with businesses in exploring different options. “This sort of training is directly in line with transition programming and housing initiatives we would like to kick off by fall,” shared Brian. “The initial focus will be on life skills, ideally finishing high school, and also looking at trade schools which would be good fits for the teens.”

Back2Back and OneLife’s hope is to expose the teens to possible in-demand careers in Haiti. Together, they plan on offering additional classes of this nature in the future. Some of the trainings will offer videos showcasing various careers the teens could consider. “So much of their time is lived in the children’s homes, so their minds can be somewhat limited with options,” explained Brian. “Classes and hands-on workshops like this offer hope and direction for their futures.”

As Back2Back continues to seek options for every child served in Haiti and partners with groups like OneLife in pursuit of broadening the children’s dreams, we thank each of you for impacting every storyline in Haiti. Your faithful dedication to sponsoring, visiting, and coming alongside each boy and girl helps every child know they’re not simply known, they are worth the fight.