a chance to prove one’s worth

It really pays to wait and be patient. The right timing came. The funds we’re waiting came. We had been planning to replaced our old front gate. When all factors came in at one time, we grabbed at the chance thinking the funds were really a blessing for the planned gate to materialize. And, the welder came as a surprise, too. It was referred to us by one neighbor who was pleased with the guy’s work and of course, the price.

A mere 24 years old male, who happens to be someone I knew as an out-of-school boy in his teens. He was one of those teens whom I have handled few years ago when I had run an advocacy towards convincing youth to go back to school or teach them how to be productive in the community, instead of just hanging every night on those dark alleys. Together with some youth leaders, we then organized trainings, fund drive campaigns and talent enhancing program for kids in the community. I had to leave the group at a time when few “politicians” had the nerve to ride in the popularity of the group. Politics was never my cup of tea. Then, as I foresee, the group disbanded after the “politician” got a seat in the local municipality and “forgets” about the group and its advocacy.

Years passed, I still had contact with other members of the group, who had in some ways, finds to get back to school and earn TESDA certificates. While others like the boy above had never had any formal training and yet, managed to find a career. His father was a welder and so when he got married at 19 years old, he had “no choice” but to learn the trade of what his father does for a living.

Now, 5 years had passed and with two small kids that he needs to feed, he has learned to master his craft. Armed with only hands-on training, at first, I was hesitant to employ him. Especially, when he gave the list of materials we needed to buy at the hardware store. Spellings and all, it was an awful read. But, instead of laughing out, I felt proud (compassion is an understatement). I felt that even with the lack of formal training, the boy seemed proud of his skill. That, his experience can equate him with others in the same field. I felt, we needed to give the boy chances. Chances to prove his worth. And, so we agreed on the contract price. I was ecstatic. It was half the price quoted by the professional welder in town.

Two days of twisting, bending and welding steel bars, and, it was done. Much that I am excited with the outcome of the new wrought-iron gate, it felt more gratifying knowing you gave chances to somebody who aspire to polish his chosen career.